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Report expected next month on slaying of former Times columnist Ruben Salazar

The director of the civilian agency that monitors the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday that his staff was aiming to a complete a report by next month on the 1970 slaying of former Los Angeles Times columnist and  KMEX-TV news director Ruben Salazar.

Salazar, 42, was killed by a sheriff's deputy while covering an anti-Vietnam war rally that had exploded into violence in East Los Angeles. The newsman was struck in the head by a tear gas missile fired by the deputy in a case that is still clouded by questions and controversy. SalazarStamp

The county Office of Independent Review, which will prepare a report on the killing, launched its review at the request of Sheriff Lee Baca after he was pressed by The Times to release the eight boxes of files on Salazar's slaying.

"We're still going through the materials and finding it interesting," said Office of Independent Review Director Michael Gennaco, whose staff includes about half a dozen attorneys who monitor officer-involved shootings and allegations of wrongdoing.

Baca has said he will publicly release Gennaco's report and use it to decide whether he will unseal the thousands of pages of documents on Salazar's slaying. In a confidential report presented in August to the Board of Supervisors, county attorneys said that Baca was required under state law to release documents such as witness statements, facts and circumstances involving incidents.

Supervisors Gloria Molina and Mark Ridley-Thomas had urged Baca to release records in the case, which left an open wound that has yet to heal.

-- Robert J. Lopez

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