Home » Antioch POA and Attorney Mike Rains Respond to Antioch Mayor

Antioch POA and Attorney Mike Rains Respond to Antioch Mayor

by CC News
Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe

On Thursday, the Antioch Police Officers Association issued a statement in response to Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe’s latest press conference. On Friday, Attorney Mike Rains issued a more comprehensive statement in response to Thorpe’s comments.

Statement from Antioch POA on March 30, 2023

In response to Mayor Thorpe’s press release, the APOA would like to assure the residents, visitors, and employees within the City of Antioch that public safety is, and will remain to be a top priority. The APOA respects due process and will not be commenting on the administrative investigation currently being conducted. We stand by the hard-working men and women of this organization and commend our officers for working diligently under the current staffing crisis, to provide the residents with a level of safety and service they deserve. We hope the administrative investigation is conducted in a timely manner, and we look forward to moving forward building our department back to where it once was, with regards to staffing. We will not fall victim to the rhetoric of outside influences who aim to ridicule and discredit the hardworking members of the APOA, as it only gets in the way of the great relationship we have with the community of Antioch. To be clear, the APOA will continue to dedicate resources, make the necessary adjustments, and support our members who serve this community with dignity and respect.

Statement from RLS Attorney Mike Rains

Our office represents the Antioch Police Officers’ Association and its individual members in employment related matters. We issue this statement in response to the statement made yesterday by City of Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe.

At the outset, it should be recognized that, despite a recent article in a local newspaper purporting to announce a new investigation by the Antioch Police Department of officers in addition to the ongoing joint investigation by the FBI and the District Attorney’s Office, the initiation of the investigation and the subjects of the investigation are not matters for public disclosure under existing law as set forth in Penal Code section 832.7.  Although the newspaper at issue may have published an article from an unknown and undisclosed “source” that was not verified as credible, and which relates to a “confidential” personnel matter under California law, the Mayor chose to compound the violation of state law by holding his own self-serving press conference, which prompted questions from some in attendance as to “why are we here?” and “why isn’t the Police Chief here making this announcement?”

The Mayor’s stated purpose, as much as we can discern, is that the placement of additional officers on administrative leave would cause “staffing issues” within the Police Department that might affect the public. But that “concern” was belied by the very fact that the Mayor had no idea as to the current staffing level at the Police Department and could not even tell his audience how many patrol officers are on the force. He also professed, at the beginning of this saga, his “respect for confidentiality and the right of officers to due process of law.” But, as pointed out above, the Mayor single-handedly violated the officers’ right to confidentiality by saying anything at all. And with respect to the officers’ right to due process, those rights were trounced when the Mayor declared the officers “bad apples” and expressed his “serious concern” for the conduct under investigation.  In short, this “press conference” was simply another demonstration by this Mayor of his belief, demonstrated by his own conduct resulting in criminal charges and massive civil judgments, that he need not conform his behavior to provisions of the Penal Code or to the laws restricting sexual harassment and discrimination of others in the workplace.

Where was the Police Chief, Mr. Mayor?  In all likelihood he was “gagged” by the Mayor and specifically instructed not to be present. If the Mayor was truly concerned about the impact of this latest investigation on “staffing” within the Police Department, who better than Chief Ford to discuss that issue?  Why didn’t the well-intentioned Mayor simply “order” or “direct” the Chief to give the briefing, and stand beside him in support of the Chief’s statement?  The truth is, as the Mayor was forced to concede, the Police Chief advised the City Manager about the new investigation, as he was required to do, and the City Manager advised the Mayor in accordance with internal reporting requirements of the City.  The “truth” of the matter is that the Police Chief, not the Mayor, made the decision to place involved officers in this NON-CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION on administrative leave and asked for the immediate appointment of an “outside” qualified investigator to conduct a thorough and objective investigation of the allegations, which he is required by law to review and adjudicate – something Chief Ford has been doing as a law enforcement executive for many years.  And the “truth” of the matter is also that Chief Ford made these decisions (he could have elected to keep the officers under investigation in their current work assignments) after speaking with the District Attorney of the County about the situation. That discussion did not involve Mayor Thorpe because it was and still remains a matter that should be handled by the imminently qualified and capable Police Chief who was not even invited to be present.

As if Mayor Thorpe did not do enough of a disservice to the confidentiality and due process rights of the officers by conducting a disaster of a “press conference,” he did nothing to allay the “rumors” he said were created by the newspaper article, which he admitted “was not good.”  With his own evasion and doublespeak on full-display, the Mayor single-handedly created far more “rumors” about this investigation, and adverse impacts on the Police Department and community, than he allayed.


Antioch Police Chief Issues Open Letter to Community

On Thursday, Antioch Police Chief Steve Ford issued the following open letter to the residents of Antioch.

The letter comes after  Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe held a press conference regarding a new in investigation which has resulted in several officers being placed on leave. Thorpe did not get into the new investigation amid a report by the East Bay Times and said prior to the press conference he had not spoken with the police chief or knew police staffing levels or patrol numbers. This investigation is separate from the FBI investigation announced last March. — read chiefs full letter

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Robert C. March 31, 2023 - 9:31 am

The attorney’s statement is very much on point. Thorpe is a media hog who contradicts himself with stunning regularity – even within a single “press conference.” The soap opera continues…

Choose Life March 31, 2023 - 10:03 am

What a mess! I hope the voters are paying attention. Thorpe is not right for Antioch. At this point, he’s created so much distrust that I personally have no faith in his ability to make sound decisions for the city. He needs to be relieved of his position. Please vote when the time comes for better leadership. Antioch deserves better.

The Truth March 31, 2023 - 10:26 am

Sounds like the Mayor was out of his scope of work here. If it was by the book the rest of the City council would have been there. Antioch is a general law city with rules. Sounds like these officers need to file a lawsuit against Mayor Thorpe personally.

Two Wheeler March 31, 2023 - 8:57 pm

Nice job, Mike Rains. Lamar, you are well outside of your IQ and weight class.

D March 31, 2023 - 1:14 pm

Acting outside the scope of your job can get you sued personally.

c405b March 31, 2023 - 6:06 pm

Disband the Antioch PD, contract with the Sheriff to patrol Antioch until a new, and non-unionized, police force can be formed. They did it in New Jersey and it worked fine. Clean house, start from scratch. Current officers can apply for a position.

Boomba April 1, 2023 - 11:30 am

Thorpe’s “news conference” was a major Goat Eff. Along with his recent decisions he has “chosen” to take as Mayor.
He needs to keep his nose out of PD business, and realize that he himself is going to be the subject/defendant of a lawsuit should he continue walking down his current path of violating employee’s rights to due process.

We have a very capable Chief of Police, we don’t need an amateur Mayor sticking his nose in an issue where he has NO knowledge of doing so.

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