LAPD Chief Denies He Requested Investigation of Mayor Karen Bass’s USC Scholarship

LAPD Chief Denies He Requested Investigation of Mayor Karen Bass’s USC Scholarship

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore speaks during a vigil with members of professional associations and the interfaith community at Los Angeles Police Department headquarters in Los Angeles, on June 5, 2020. (Mark J. Terrill/File/AP Photo)

City News Service

City News Service

12/21/2023

Updated: 1/12/2024

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore is denying allegations that he ordered a pair of Internal Affairs Division detectives to investigate Mayor Karen Bass shortly after her election over her acceptance of a scholarship from University of Southern California (USC).
According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, the two detectives filed complaints with the Office of the Inspector General alleging Mr. Moore directed them to conduct the investigation into Ms. Bass and the scholarship—which came to light during her campaign. The request came at a time when Ms. Bass was considering whether to retain Mr. Moore as LAPD chief, according to the newspaper.
Ms. Bass’s campaign opponent, Rick Caruso, had questioned her acceptance of the scholarship while she was serving in Congress, saying she later proposed legislation aimed at increasing federal funding for private universities such as USC. Ms. Bass repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, and insisted she got clearance from the House Ethics Committee to accept the scholarship.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass speaks at the podium at the Lorena Plaza affordable housing project site where she signed an affordable housing executive directive in Los Angeles on Dec. 16, 2022. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass speaks at the podium at the Lorena Plaza affordable housing project site where she signed an affordable housing executive directive in Los Angeles on Dec. 16, 2022. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

In a statement issued Dec. 20, the department called the detectives’ allegations “patently false,” noting that the Internal Affairs Division is restricted to only investigate alleged misconduct by department employees.
“I did not initiate, request, or authorize an investigation as alleged in any fashion,” Mr. Moore said in a statement. “This matter is now with the Office of the Inspector General and I look forward to their investigation into these fictitious allegations.”
According to the newspaper, which reviewed the detectives’ complaints, the pair contend they ultimately refused to accept the assignment to investigate the mayor. They said it was unclear if the Internal Affairs agency ever proceeded with any type of probe into Ms. Bass.
A representative for the inspector general’s office confirmed to the paper that the office had received the complaints, and “we are handling them according to our standard protocols. In general, when the [office] receives allegations of misconduct against any Department employee, we ensure that a formal complaint investigation is initiated.”
The Mayor’s Office told the Los Angeles Times: “[The mayor’s] focus is on reducing crime. People need to get with that program and stop wasting time and resources on debunked political attacks.”
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