By Monica Alonzo
By Stephen Lemons
By Jason P. Woodbury
By Dulce Paloma Baltazar Pedraza
By Ray Stern
By Pete Kotz
By Monica Alonzo
By New Times
And I says, "Yeah," and he says, "The DPS guy was charged, correct?"
The bottom line as far as he's concerned is that we provided sufficient service to indict a perpetrator. They don't feel the department's employees have done anything wrong. So, on that basis, it's unfounded, and I was directed to tell you that . . . Woodward: It's just like you told me last night. The orders came from up above. Hatounian is saying that you had completed the investigation. That you found it unfounded. You found it unfounded because they told you it was unfounded.
McDonald: You're reading right. . . . For as long as I can recall, they've always had a deal in the general orders, and it's still there, it says that an employee can request a polygraph examination. It still has to be approved, but it says he could request it [which Wenrick did]. My thought, and I haven't necessarily verbalized this with too many people, if I get some hack out there that makes a complaint against me and makes some serious allegations of sorts, it comes down to a truthfulness thing. Am I now going to be denied that right to take a polygraph? Even when I want to take one? . . . I've got some sympathy for Wenrick. . . . Let's just say that Wenrick honestly doesn't remember you telling him that. It was an honest mistake. You know, if I was him, I've got family, I've got mothers, aunts and uncles and they pick up the New Times and read something.
Because it does look strange. You took a polygraph and passed it. Wenrick knows Van Jackson, gives him the report. The average public doesn't realize that that's a common practice between agencies, that we give reports left and right. What makes it, to me, what would have made it wrong, and I told you this on the initial day, if we can determine that Wenrick knew DPS were possible suspects and then turned around and gave it to a DPS officer, then to me it makes it wrong.
Last Friday, Major Brewster called me again. His story had changed.
He now admitted that Assistant Chief Click had killed Wenrick's lie detector test.
Major Brewster said it wasn't worth the time and expense of a lie detector test.
Woodward's lie detector tests had cost all of $150. For over two months the Internal Affairs investigation had dragged on and now, at the very end, a lie detector test wasn't worth the time or the money?
Because nothing Officer Wenrick did hindered the investigation, said Major Brewster. The state cop, Van Jackson, was nailed.
In other words, no blood, no foul. Except if that were really true, why launch an investigation by Internal Affairs in the first place? The probe by Lieutenant McDonald didn't begin until long after Van Jackson had resigned and been indicted.
It is obvious the chief's office killed Officer Wenrick's lie detector test because they were afraid he would fail it. Toward the end of their last conversation, Lieutenant McDonald said something to Woodward that was depressing coming from an officer entrusted with the responsibility for examining law enforcement officers' conduct.
"One thing that I think you do know," McDonald told Woodward. "That is, we got some people over at DPS there, at least one, Van Jackson, who was responsible for some turmoil in your personal life. And I'll be honest with you. I wouldn't blame you if you never believed another cop as long as you live."
It is a statement that rings with frightening resonance for all of us who have followed the saga of Leon Woodward.