The Los Angeles Times reports that LAPD Chief Charlie Beck admitted Wednesday night he signed off on a $6,000 deal enabling the department to purchase a horse owned by his daughter.
Beck had previously denied such an accusation, but the Times found documents showing the LAPD bought George, a 10-year-old quarterhorse, from Beck’s daughter, Officer Brandi Pearson, in order to use the horse in its equestrian unit.
Police commissioners asserted they were unaware the horse was Pearson’s when they approved of the transaction. Beck, confronted with the documents obtained by the Times, said he “realized” he had rubber-stamped the deal.
Beck stated, “After evaluating the circumstances of this donation, in retrospect, I should have ensured that the department had formally transmitted to the [Intradepartmental Correspondence to the Board of Police Commissioners] the additional documentation on file which identified the original owner of the horse. I will continue to work with the commission to increase the department’s transparency.”
The Times had already revealed that Beck sent documents to the commission in which he stated, “all possible conflicts of interest have been researched, and there does not appear to be any issues that would reflect negatively on the department.”
Commission President Steve Soboroff backed Beck, asserting that he did not think Beck intentionally deceived officials. He added, “After reviewing the information provided to date by the department, the inspector general, and Chief Beck, I am comfortable that the chief was not involved in the selection, evaluation, or purchase of the horse. Based on the chief’s statements today, I am now satisfied the commission will have sufficient disclosure going forward.”