Bell police officers say their corruption allegations went nowhere in D.A. Cooley's office
One after another, the three Bell police officers sat down and told stories of possible corruption in their city to Los Angeles County district attorney's investigators.
The veteran officers, who met secretly with investigators at the district attorney's downtown L.A. headquarters, said they spoke of illegal vehicle seizures, voter fraud and other misconduct.
That was a year and a half ago — and the district attorney's office quickly dropped the matter, according to James Corcoran, a now-retired Bell police sergeant who believes he was the first to approach the investigators. His account was verified by the other two officers.
"I think they were busy and they didn't think it was a big deal," Corcoran said of the district attorney's office. "It was like, 'Stand in line,' and it was a long line."
With Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley running for state attorney general and airing campaign advertisements that feature the Republican's efforts to prosecute Bell officials, the question of whether his office failed to follow up promptly on corruption allegations has become politically sensitive. Backers of his Democratic opponent, San Francisco Dist. Atty. Kamala Harris, say Cooley's deputies blew the Bell investigation early on.
-- Paul Pringle