The FBI has launched an investigation into allegations of corruption within the police department of Calexico, a small border town east of San Diego.
On Wednesday, the newly-appointed police chief publicly accused his predecessor, some members of his own department and city officials of illegally trying to undermine a criminal investigation, comparing their actions to those of the New York mafia.
“The councilmembers in conjunction with the police officers association and members of that association have used city funds and city resources to run what I would call an extortion racket,” Calexico Police Chief Mike Bostic said.
“I’ve literally had it,” Bostic said. Then, when he talked about calling in the FBI just two weeks into his term, he was moved to tears.
He claims some of the elected officials and POA members were using thousands of dollars in surveillance equipment recently purchased with department funds to follow other members of the city government.
“Exactly like the Mafioso in New York. That’s exactly how they are operating,” the chief said.
After he was on the job for three or four days, Bostic discovered the investigations unit was not working any active cases. The same was true with the narcotics and internal affairs units.
He was unable to find any reports on an alleged kidnapping and assault of a juvenile that took place in October.
“The former chief and his investigative unit were so busy trying to save his career and his job rather than focus on that investigation, they completely botched it,” Bostic alleged.
Several members of the department were placed on paid leave. Other employees were demoted.
He said detectives were using professional tools often used to break into cars. No officer should be carrying them, Bostic said.
“There’s a thing called search warrants in the state of California,” he said. “These were clearly tools for violating people’s rights and we’re trying to get to the bottom of that.”
This was just the most recent development in an ongoing scandal that has been compared to a Telenovela with new shocking details uncovered at weekly city council meetings.