UPDATE: Chief Luna Says LBPD Is Reviewing Circumstances Surrounding June 3 Incident Involving Councilwoman Pearce To Ensure Field Actions Were Consistent With Its Policies/Procedures
With ongoing investigation, add'l details and circumstances not being released "at this time"
Denies LBPD has policy directing special "handling" of public officials; says LBPD does have notification guide within its policy requiring appropriate notifications when incident involves arrest or serious criminal conduct re a city employee or VIP
EARLIER: What Happened In Predawn Hours of June 3 That Led LBPD To Administer Field Sobriety Test To Long Beach Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce -- That LBPD Says She Successfully Completed -- After Detaining Her And Her Former Chief Of Staff (In Car She Drove), Then Released Them But Later Arrested Him For Outstanding DUI-Related Warrant And Alleged Public Intoxication? Was Domestic Violence Alleged And If So Against Whom?
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(UPDATE June 10, 2017, 3:55 p.m.) -- What happened in the predawn hours of June 3 that led LBPD to administer a field sobriety test to Long Beach Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce -- that LBPD says she successfully completed -- after LBPD detained her and her former Chief of Staff who was in the car she drove (initially spotted by CHP stopped on the southbound 710 freeeway center median north of the Golden Shore exit), then released them both but later arrested him for an outstanding DUI-related warrant and alleged public intoxication? Was domestic violence alleged and if so against whom?
LBPD says it didn't find "sufficient cause for arrest related to a domestic violence incident or driving under the influence."
LBREPORT.com continues to seek answers beyond the written statements below.
[Scroll down for further.]
On June 10, City of LB Public Affairs Officer Kerry Gerot provided LBREPORT.com at our request with a copy of a statement the City provided to the PressTelegram on June 9 regarding Devin Cotter, former 2nd Council district Chief of Staff and former Legislative Deputy to Mayor Robert Garcia.
[City of LB June 9 statement text] "STATEMENT REGARDING ARREST OF DEVIN COTTER AND OUTSTANDING WARRANT"
When Mr. Cotter was hired by the City of Long Beach in July 2014, the City was made aware of the DUI Mr. Cotter had received and measures were put into place, as a condition of his employment, that he would not be driving.
The City does not receive notification of bench warrants issued for any employees, consequently, the City was not aware that this existed during the time of his employment.
(UPDATE June 7, 2017, 8:55 p.m.) -- At 8:43 p.m., LBPD released the statement below by Police Chief Robert Luna related to a June 3, 2017 incident involving Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce (reported earlier in the day by us and others):
STATEMENT FROM CHIEF OF POLICE ROBERT LUNA RELATED TO INCIDENT INVOLVING COUNCILMEMBER JEANNINE PEARCE
The Police Department recognizes that there are many questions regarding this matter. It is the Departmentís responsibility to document circumstances in order to conduct a thorough investigation to determine if a crime or crimes have been committed. Due to the ongoing criminal investigation, additional details of the case and related circumstances are not being released at this time.
We are reviewing the circumstances surrounding this incident to ensure the actions taken in the field were consistent with our policies and procedures. We do not have a policy directing special "handling" of public officials. However, the Police Department does have a notification guide included in its policy that requires appropriate notifications be made when an incident involves the arrest or serious criminal conduct involving a city employee or VIP.
The men and women of the Long Beach Police Department respect the rights of all individuals and work hard to maintain the public trust that we have established.
(June 7, 2017, 6:48 p.m.) -- What happened in the predawn hours of June 3 that led LBPD to administer a field sobriety test to Long Beach Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce -- that LBPD says she successfully completed -- after LBPD detained her and her former Chief of Staff who was in the car she drove (initially spotted by CHP stopped on the southbound 710 freeeway center median north of the Golden Shore exit), then released them both but later arrested him for an outstanding DUI-related warrant and alleged public intoxication? Was domestic violence alleged and if so against whom?
LBPD says it didn't find "sufficient cause for arrest related to a domestic violence incident or driving under the influence."...
[LBPD June 7 statement text] On Saturday, June 3, 2017, at approximately 2:40 a.m., the California Highway Patrol (CHP) called Long Beach Police and requested assistance investigating a possible domestic violence and driving under the influence incident. CHP indicated they had discovered a vehicle parked facing southbound in the painted center median, north of the Golden Shore exit, on the 710 Freeway. A female driver and male passenger were being detained at the location by CHP.
When Long Beach Police arrived at the location, CHP officers indicated that they were unsure if a crime had occurred and asked for LBPD to investigate further. LBPD did not find sufficient cause for arrest related to a domestic violence incident or driving under the influence. The female driver admitted driving the vehicle, however she successfully completed a field sobriety test. The female driver was taken home by a friend. The male passenger was transported home by LBPD officers. The female driver is identified as Jeannine Pearce, 36 years old and a resident of Long Beach.
At approximately 6:00 a.m., the female driver was returning home with her vehicle when she was confronted by the male passenger involved in the earlier dispute. She immediately drove away and called police. Officers responded to the 2200 block of Florida Avenue and located the subject. The male subject was arrested for public intoxication and an active $50,000 warrant for Driving Under the Influence. The male subject is identified as Devin Cotter, 36 years old and a resident of Long Beach.
The investigation remains ongoing.
[End LBPD June 7 statement text]
Pearce was elected to the City Council in June 2016 and took office in mid-July 2016.
Mr. Cotter's Linked-In page indicates he managed the 2014 Garcia Mayoral campaign; Mayor Garcia then hired Cotter as a Legislative Deputy. Cotter subsequently managed the campaign for the Garcia-sought June 2016 Measure A sales tax increase ballot measure (carried in June 2016). Councilwoman Pearce, elected in June 2016, hired Mr. Cotter as her Chief of Staff shortly after taking office in mid-July 2016; he exited that position in early 2017.
At the end of the business day June 7:
Councilwoman Pearce hasn't responded to LBREPORT.com's request/invitation for comment (emailed to her Council office Chief of Staff)
Mr. Cotter hasn't responded to LBREPORT.com's request/invitation for comment (private message to his Facebook account.)
LBREPORT.com emailed a number of questions to LBPD which remain pending [UPDATE: See above statement by Chief Luna].
CHP South L.A. Division Public Information Officer Simeon Yarbrough tells LBREPORT.com that his office won't have any statement on the incident beyond what LBPD has thus far released.