It was impossible for Balboa Peninsula motorists to notice anything unusual when they passed Newport Beach City Hall on the afternoon of March 10, 2011. The warm sun hovering above steady beach traffic and palm trees swaying from a periodic, lazy breeze revealed just a typical, Southern California day. But not far from Pacific Coast Highway, on a sidewalk adjacent to 32nd Street--a road flanking local government offices until last year's relocation--high-ranking police officers were teaching a lesson to one of Orange County's most heroic whistleblowers and his wife: Mess with us, and you'll pay dearly.
In recent years, daily examples of faithful public service inside the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) have been overshadowed by alarming corruption. City officials ignore or downplay the misconduct, but NBPD bosses turned the agency into a darker, stupider version of Animal House. Court records and internal documents show the city's boys in blue have accepted gratuities in exchange for favors, gotten frat-boy drunk at work, lied under oath, passed out confidential information to pals, encouraged oral sex from female job applicants, committed wild adultery on duty, doctored official reports, hurled feces, dished out horrific domestic violence against wives and girlfriends, engaged in intoxicated bar fights, issued criminal threats, vandalized property, converted powerful agency spy equipment to personal use, and rigged promotion systems to ensure mostly see-no-evil, management-loyal employees rise--and let the hijinks continue. More »