Tuesday, April 28, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Investigators paid $230,256 as pepper-spray costs climb

By
From page A1 | August 17, 2012 |

UC Davis paid two consultants $230,256 to mount its internal affairs investigation on last November’s pepper-spraying of student protesters — an investigation that produced recommendations Chief Matt Carmichael opted to overrule.

UCD paid Van Dermyden Allison Law Corp. of Sacramento $148,349 and Yorba Linda-based Norman A. Traub Associates $81,907 to investigate the Nov. 18 arrest of 10 Occupy UC Davis protesters and pepper-spraying of about a dozen more, the university revealed this week in response to a public records request.

The internal affairs investigators found the viral video of Lt. John Pike pepper-spraying seated, unarmed protesters on the Quad “disturbing,” but concluded his use of pepper spray was “reasonable under the circumstances,” according to a published report in the Sacramento Bee based on documents it had obtained, including the 76-page confidential internal affairs report.

Based on the investigation, a UCD police captain and the campus chief compliance officer recommended to Carmichael an “exonerated finding” on use of force, but concluded that Pike’s ”serious errors of judgment and deficiencies of leadership” warranted demotion or suspension, the newspaper said.

In an April 27 letter, Carmichael informed Pike of his intention to fire him, accusing Pike of going against then-Chief Annette Spicuzza’s wishes to use “a minimum amount of force,” objecting to her request that officers not wear a helmet or carry batons and performing “poorly” when he took over control of the scene from another lieutenant.

Carmichael reportedly emphasized the damage to the department and campus, and noted that Pike told investigators he would use pepper spray again in similar circumstances.

UCD acknowledged last month that Pike and a second officer it has declined to name over safety concerns were no longer employed by the department, but revealed no more, citing state law protecting police personnel records.

The Enterprise has named Alexander Lee as the second officer involved, based on videos and photos from the scene and campus documents. The Bee, which is suing for the release of names of officers involved, did not address the fate of a second officer.

Carmichael did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Columbia College of Missouri criminal justice professor Michael Lyman, an expert in police practices and procedures who has experience as an investigator and as a police instructor, said the potential value of the internal affairs investigation goes beyond personnel matters.

“Those investigations are designed to re-evaluate practices and procedures and policies for the department,” Lyman said. “They’re more or less an opportunity for the department to take a look at itself and pull itself up by the boot straps.”

Lyman said that if Carmichael did fire Pike, whom The Enterprise has been unable to reach for comment, any previous black marks in Pike’s personnel file may have been a factor.

“This could have been the last straw or he could have been the sacrificial lamb,” said Lyman, who added that his own take on the video evidence and press reports of the incident led him to believe pepper spray should not have been used.

“Nationwide, many officers don’t want to get a little bit of dirt under their fingernails, so they use force options that are inappropriate under the circumstances. You see that with Tasers all the time,” Lyman added.

Though he said the number of the university investigations may have gone beyond what the incident warranted, Lyman credited UCD for turning to outside investigators and for sending a message to the department.

“The administration has to take action or you risk ratification of conduct — the rank and file gets the message that not only will there not be punishment for this conduct, but that policies have no teeth,” he said.

The cost of the internal affairs investigation brings the amount the University of California system or UCD has paid on consultants since the pepper spray incident to more than $686,000.

UC paid $445,879 to Kroll Associates, a New York-based security consulting firm that put together a fact-finding report on the pepper-spraying used by a task force headed by former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso to make recommendations for changes to campus policies. Earlier, Marsh Risk Consulting, another New York firm, charged UC “close to $100,000″ for helping guide crisis communications for the campus as it coped with the international media attention the incident provoked.
In addition, Pike and Lee remained on paid leave for eight months after the pepper-spraying. Pike drew $81,120 in salary and Lee $38,040 while on suspension. Spicuzza was paid more than $61,500 while under investigation before she retired in April.
Other costs for UC are still climbing:
* The draft of yet another report, this one on UC policies for dealing with protesters, cost more than $300,000 to produce, according to UC General Counsel Charles Robinson, who co-authored the report with Christopher Edley Jr., dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law. That report has not been finalized.
* Carmichael, who has vowed to reform the department and make its operation more transparent, has previously announced plans to work with further consultants on reforming the department’s policies and training. A price tag has not been announced.
* UC has not yet revealed a cost estimate for the legal fees it ran up in a court case it fought against a police officers’ union this spring over the release of names in the Reynoso report.
* The pepper-sprayed protesters have filed suit in federal court against UCD, its top officials, the department and officers on the scene.

— Reach Cory Golden at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @cory_golden

Comments

comments

Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter. http://about.me/cory_golden
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Yolo Basin Foundation celebrates 25 years

    By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Teens embrace public art through Pence Gallery program

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Robotics team members reflect on their big win

    By Kellen Browning | From Page: A1

     
    City’s eco-classes will explore water, wildlife, pests, composting

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

    Many hands make light work

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Baltimore smolders after violent night

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Davis police make vehicle theft arrest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Corinthian Colleges closes all 28 remaining campuses

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Capay Organic hosts Cinco de Mayo party

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Yolo County Bar Association honors Magna Carta, probation chief

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Sierra Club leaders will meet April 30

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Pedro party, lunch benefit Yolo Hospice

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Author — injured arm in sling — will sign her new book

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Chicken manure compost class planned

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Party celebrates release of Lescroart’s new novel

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Curious about calculus? Try Barcellos’ new book

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Master Gardeners teach workshops throughout county

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Faithful Partner Fund established for K-9 officers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Holmes’ Green Team wins state award

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Vacaville contractor convicted of fraud

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Blueberries, apricots arrive at Sutter market

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    New UCD art lecture series named for Thiebauds

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Pinball show features lots of free play

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Asian garden open for tours this weekend

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    She knows their business

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Waking up to the awful truth

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Thanks for camera’s return

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    David Brooks: Love and merit

    By David Brooks | From Page: A6

     
    Davis’ active transportation plan is right on target

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Dog’s freedom isn’t worth it

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Vaccine bill is vital for our health

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

     
    Huge first frame lifts DHS to big baseball win

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Blue Devil girls run it up on Grant

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    UCD golfers move into first at Big West Championship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Another big inning does in Devil softballers

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1

     
    AAA roundup: Cardinals break out big bats in Davis Little League win

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Get a positive vibe Wednesday from Tha Dirt Feelin’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Momentum Dance Company plans spring concert

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Winters Theatre Company performs on the Big Day of Giving

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    ‘Contempt of Court’ next up at Winters Theatre Company

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    There’s no place like home in DMTC’s ‘Wizard of Oz’

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Have breakfast in Oz on May 16

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Black Sea Hotel to perform in Village Homes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    DMTC’s young performers present a steam-punk ‘Snow White’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7