Concerns in Chief

PCC Trustees abruptly end selection process for a full-time police chief amid claims of impropriety by controversial acting Chief Brad Young

By Justin Chapman, Pasadena Weekly, 6/2/2005

Former Pasadena City College acting Police Chief Brad Young is no stranger to controversy.

Two years ago, Young, who at the time was a lieutenant, and then-Chief Philip Mullendore came under investigation following a claim they beat up a demonstrator at an anti-war protest on the PCC campus during the first days of the US-led pre-emptive attack on Iraq.

Both men were ultimately exonerated in separate investigations by both Pasadena police and the PCC Board of Trustees.

Then, shortly after Mullendore retired 1½ years ago and Young assumed the acting chief's position, Young came under fire again. This time three of his own employees claimed he secretly tape-recorded what they believed were private conversations.

Like the assault allegations, those claims were also investigated by Pasadena police and the board, and again both agencies found no wrongdoing on Young's part.

Now Young, who has since had his claim for $1.8 million in damages in relation to the employees' complaints denied, finds himself at the center of another controversy, involving the Board of Trustees, which, without explanation, ended the hiring process without picking a new full-time replacement for Mullendore from among Young and two unidentified candidates.

Instead, the board replaced Young in the acting chief's position with former Fontana Police Chief Frank Scialdone. Young has since been returned to his former lieutenant's status. Scialdone was appointed to the Fontana City Council in 2004. His current term will expire in November 2006. He was employed with the Fontana Police Department from 1973 until he retired in July 2004.

Scialdone has been assigned to spend the next six months conducting a management audit of the campus police force, after which he will "submit recommendations to the Board of Trustees," said Janet Levin, PCC's dean of External Relations.

Except for saying that he is innocent of all allegations brought against him, and that the officers and the dispatcher had been subjected to discipline by him prior to their claims of invasion of privacy being made, Young declined to be interviewed at length for this report.

"We wanted to look at the situation in the department and evaluate our specific needs," Vic Collins, PCC's dean of Human Relations, said of the Trustees' decision to end the hunt for a new chief. "It had nothing to do with the allegations against Young."

Collins was referring to complaints filed against Young last fall by campus police Officers John Hynes and Alan Chan, and campus police dispatcher Ralph Humphrey, who alleged that Young had secretly taped their conversations in the locker room.

After a six-week investigation by Pasadena Police Detective Rich Cassidy, Deputy District Attorney John Perlstein decided not to file charges against Young, citing a lack of evidence.

"The tape recorder in Young's locker could have been put there by 1,700 people," said Perlstein.

Young had broken the latch off his locker during a demonstration on locker security several months earlier.

Soon thereafter, Young and the accusing dispatcher and officers filed two separate claims against the Pasadena Area Community College District.

In his claim, Young said he was libeled and slandered by the district in relation to the allegations. That claim asked for $1.8 million in damages.

In their claim, Hynes, Chan and Humphrey allege their privacy was violated. That allegation -- claims are typically the first step in the filing of a civil lawsuit against a government agency -- did not seek monetary damages.

The Board of Trustees voted as part of the Consent Items during the Open Session of the March 16 meeting to reject both claims, according to Malinda Altmetz, administrative assistant for the Board of Trustees.

"In order for any claim to go forward, it is standard procedure for [the Board of Trustees] to receive then reject the claim," said board Vice President Geoffrey Baum.

In their claim, the officers said they noticed an activated tape recorder in Young's locker on the evening of Aug. 27.

According to the claim, "the recorder was installed without a warrant and in violation of the employees' rights to privacy."

The claim further states that after the officers and the dispatcher filed a police report, police "investigators confiscated the tape recording of the officers' and other individuals' conversations from Young, and it was found to be blank. The conduct in destroying the tape constitutes, among other things, spoliation of evidence needed for prospective litigation and destruction of evidence."

The document also states Young "acted under color of state law, within the course and scope of employment, and as an official policy maker for the [Pasadena Area Community College District]. He is vested with policymaking authority over personnel actions such as the ones at issue in this claim."

Young said Hynes, Chan and Humphrey were retaliating after being disciplined by him, an assertion that they have denied.

The two officers and the dispatcher declined to comment for this report, but denied Young's claim of retaliation to a reporter with the Courier, the college newspaper.

Officer Leroy Henderson, president of the Pasadena City College Police Chapter 819, presented the board during the Oct. 6 meeting with a formal notification that eight members of the Police Officers Association had cast votes of no-confidence in Young as chief.