Commissioner Cordova clearly used her influence to spring her little boy from high school abusing her authority and the public's trust. For all of that, her actions while unethical were not illegal. Our Eyes are telling us about another parent who's trying to protect their son in a similar fashion. In this case, the line might be more than just an ethical breach.
For some time now the La Cueva neighborhood has been experiencing a rash of vandalism. It's become quite an issue for the Northeast Substation - so much so that additional patrols have been regularly sent into the area and officers are being encouraged cruise through the neighborhood whenever they have an opportunity.
Even with the extra patrols and the emphasis placed on the neighborhood, the vandalism was continuing. Like in any good neighborhood, the residents started looking out for each other. Eventually, their vigilance paid off. Our Eyes tell us that the neighbors managed to spot a group of juveniles egging a property. They followed the hooligans to a second home where they used their vehicles to block the driveway and called the police.
(Sidebar)While waiting for the police to arrive, one of the afore mentioned hooligans came out of the residence with his phone (of course) and told folks from the neighborhood to leave because nothing was going to happen to him anyway. This is where things got interesting.
Folks, it's always dangerous to follow criminals somewhere and attempt to keep them in any sort of custody. There's a reason why we pay and train professionals to do this kind of thing. Even the most timid of suspects can surprise you and ruin your whole day. Acts like this fall under the heading of don't try this at home.
Because there's potential criminal activity involved, we're going to withhold the names of the two APD officers involved (for now). The first officer is the father of juvenile with the phone - he holds the rank of lieutenant, and works in one of the other area commands. We'll call him Lieutenant A. The second officer involved is a P2C rookie probational officer, assigned to the Northeast Area Command and the officer dispatched to the scene where the juvenile hooligans were being detained. We'll call this second officer, Officer H.
When Officer H arrived on the scene he was greeted by a juvenile with a phone, some adults with their cars blocking the driveway, and Lieutenant A on the boy's cell phone. Apparently, in addition to speaking with his son, Lieutenant A had a conversation with the angry residents of the La Cueva neighborhood in which he instructed them to remove their vehicles or they would be charged with false imprisonment. When Officer H arrived the lieutenant asked to talk to the rookie.
Our Eyes tell us that the lieutenant who identified himself to Officer H on the phone insisted that there was a problem with the investigation. Of course, there hadn't been an investigation... yet. To his credit the rookie officer interviewed all of the parties and decided that the evidence indicated that the juveniles involved be charged with criminal damage to property.
This where the trouble really began. After some calls and emails to various officers in a number of positions, Officer H was instructed to change his report from a criminal damage report to an informational report. The suspects from the original report were to be re-identified as interviewed. In other words, as the hooligan (or maybe we should say alleged hooligan, or even better, alleged interviewee) said - nothing was going to happen.
We can understand a parent trying to take care of their kids. It's a natural, basic instinct that sometimes leads parents to cross a line that they latter regret crossing - one that can have some rather unpleasant consequences. Just ask Commissioner Cordova whose interference in her son's grades no doubt cost Cordova her seat on the County Commission. It's quite possible that Lieutenant A's decision to get involved in his son's situation may have crossed a line of a criminal nature.
There's a big difference between prosecutorial discretion and interfering in an investigation. It's illegal for a police officer to use his position to fix tickets for friends, so you can bet it's illegal to interfere in an investigation - that's crossing a line.