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Exclusive: Lynwood Mayor Alatorre Engaged In ‘Criminal Acts’ Internal Investigation Concludes

Exclusive: Lynwood Mayor Alatorre Engaged In ‘Criminal Acts’ Internal Investigation Concludes

CITY MANAGER EXITS JOB

By Randy Economy and Brian Hews

(Lynwood) Hews Media Group-Community News (HMG-CN) obtained a 72-page confidential document in the mail this week that outlines in great detail the results an “administrative investigation” that was conducted by Irvine Attorney Jeffrey B. Love out of Orange County.

The private investigation concluded that Lynwood Mayor Salvador Alatorre violated various city laws and ethical standards against City Manager Roger Haley after the two individuals engaged in numerous racially related exchanges between the two top city officials.

Haley, who is African American, charged in the complaint that Mayor Alatorre, a Latino, “violated the City of Lynwood’s rules regarding hostile work environment, discrimination and retaliation.”

This week Haley abruptly announced that he would no longer be employed by the City of Lynwood. City Attorney Fred Galante, in an interview with HMG-CN, confirmed that Haley was “no longer the city manager as of August 1.”

“Mr. Haley has retired from the City of Lynwood,” said Galante. “We won’t go into the specifics on why Mr. Haley retired,” he said. Haley was reportedly making $220,000 per year in salary and had been the top administrator of Lynwood since 2007.

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Haley said, “he has numerous offers in the private sector, I will go on vacation for two weeks, come back and make my decision.”

The relationship between Haley and Alatorre was strained and sources inside Lynwood City Hall say the two “actually hated each other.”

“They couldn’t stand each other, and butted heads all the time,” one Lynwood official said in an interview. “It was about power and control, and Alatorre thinks he is running the entire City of Lynwood because he sits in the mayor’s chair,” the official who did not want to be publicly identified told HMG-CN.

Haley stressed in the report that he believes that the treatment he received by Mayor Alatorre “is motivated by his (Alatorre) dislike of Mr. Haley, due to the fact that he is African-American as well as the fact that Mr. Haley has not complied with a number of demands of Mayor Alatorre, which Mr. Haley finds either unethical or possibly unlawful,” the report states.

Attorney Love gathered numerous documents including emails, memoranda and other relevant documentary evidence related to Haley to conduct his inquiry.

At least 15 current Lynwood city officials as well as residents were interviewed about in the investigation including Councilwoman Aide Castro.

Galante, who works for the Law Firm of Alshire and Wynder, told HMG-CN in an interview on Wednesday that the “release of the full unedited report was never authorized by anyone with the City of Lynwood.”

“There was credible evidence to conclude that Mayor Alatorre has, on a number of occasions, and on a routine basis, violated the laws of the Lynwood City’s Municipal statues regarding issues concerning the Code of Ethics, as well as LMC Section 2-2.8 which forbids the City Council in dealing with subordinate employees except through the city manager,” the report concluded.

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The report goes on to state that “although this investigation was administrative in nature, it appeared to this fact finder (Attorney Love) that Mayor Alatorre violated the laws of the City’s municipal code on a number of occasions. These violations are considered criminal acts punishable as a misdemeanor.”

City Councilwoman Aide Castro said in an interview that City Manager Haley was “railroaded out of office by Mayor Alatorre.”

“Let’s be real, Haley was forced to resign, he didn’t retire,” Castro said.

“I will not talk about the specifics of the report, but I will go on the record as saying that Roger Haley was the best city manager Lynwood has ever seen. Roger was responsible for getting Lynwood back on track, he was an amazing city manager who did not deserve to be treated this way,” Castro said.

Alatorre did not return numerous calls regarding this article, and Haley could not be reached for comment as well.
Galante said he has conducted a “training session” with Mayor Alatorre regarding how to comply with “various and numerous city codes of ethics.”

“I cannot discuss the particulars of the case,” Galante said.

Asked if the city would seek prosecution of Alatorre in the matter, Galante responded by stating “the report was received and filed by the city council and that no other action will be taken.”

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