By George Miller
We are on the distribution list for Sheriff’s Dept announcements, but somehow we failed to receive the one on Thousand Oaks “Police Chief” Tim Hagel’s retirement and had to read about it in another publication. Here’s one from the City of Thousand Oaks. The KVTA one was a bit more forthcoming.
It may be just a coincidence that he announced his retirement right on the heels of an investigation of the handling of the “Blue Bowl” fundraiser for the late Sgt Ron Helus, hero of the Borderline Shooting response- but we don’t think so. The announcement did not mention this as a reason.
Without getting into details here, Florida-based Robert L. Zore charitable foundation decided to put on a fundraiser for Helus’ family. The family, the Sheriff’s Office, numerous donors and would-be participants were totally on board (yes,we can back that up)… UNTIL Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin’s staff intervened with the Sheriff’s Dept. because they didn’t like having singer Joy Villa performing the national anthem or Irwin’s previous election opponent, Ronda Baldwin-Kennedy (now running for Congress 26CD against Julia Brownley), booked as one of those appearing and making a two minute non-political speech. Irwin, 26CD U.S. Rep Julia Brownley and others were also invited. Irwin’s office and the Sheriff’s office accused the Zore foundation of running a politicized event simply because of these what look like unfounded accusations.
Hagel was said to be experienced, effective and well-liked during his tenure. If his downfall was in fact his highly charged and highly inappropriate political rhetoric to the event organizers and subsequent withdrawal of support (driven/approved by the Sheriff), that is tragic. Although we voiced severe disapproval of his actions, we made it clear that we did not want to see him go and that some lesser form of discipline to send a clear message was more in order.
There is no place for using official positions for adversarial politics by people who carry guns and hold delegated life or death power over us. But if denials were made that this was a reason, then no lessons were learned and no message was sent that this was improper. The Sheriff’s office has a second chance to do so in how they release the results of the investigation of this sorry affair. We are not holding our breath that Irwin will come clean. All we have heard from her are denials.
Some observations about this sad affair:
- Coming only a week after VCSO told someone they were interviewing for the investigation that they were just wrapping it up, it looks like it might be the proximate cause of Hagel’s retirement, although there could be other factors, such as those stated in the announcements.
- It appears that the interference was initiated by the office of 44 AD Rep. Jacqui Irwin. Although it could be attributed to an over-zealous aide, Irwin had more than enough time to make this right and didn’t.
- Naked political power play hardball by an elected legislative representative into the law enforcement office of an independently elected Sheriff is unacceptable.
- The Sheriff’s Office should very strongly resist such unwarranted interference.
- It appears that Hagel’s actions were triggered by Irwin’s office’s interference.
- The Sheriff’s Office, Irwin and the City of Thousand Oaks were provided evidence that their statements about the matter were wrong-headed and unjustified, but not only did they not retract them, they actually doubled down.
- Bad mouthing the event organizers and speakers by VCSO, Irwin and even the City of Thousand Oaks was unfair, unjustified and extremely poor form. VCSO and the City of Thousand Oaks should make a public apology to The Zore Foundation, Villa, Baldwin-Kennedy and effect restitution for the Foundation’s losses.
- It is stunning that the social climate in the region allows such things to be said and done with seeming impunity and nothing happens until extraordinary pressure is applied to check it.
- If anyone should retire over this sorry episode, it should be 44AD Rep. Jacqui Irwin, the cynical instigator of this sorry affair.
Editor’s note: We weren’t going to publicly comment on the circumstances surrounding Chief Hagel’s retirement, but finally concluded that the official and media lies promulgated about this whole Blue Bowl affair were just to much to ignore. We wish Commander/T.O. Police Chief Tim Hagel a happy and well-deserved retirement. The good he accomplished far outweighed any negative role he played in this event. He may have been a sacrificial lamb.
By George Miller More on the aborted Oct.6 Borderline charity fundraising event honoring Fallen Hero Sgt. Ron Helus to have been held at Newbury Park High School. Corrupt political influence and cover-up exposed …. New Highlights: 1. Confirmed now that the hateful words uttered by VCSO Thousand Oaks “Police Chief” Tim Hagel to the Foundation […]
George Miller is Publisher/Co-Founder of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard.