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Former LAPD executive is named chief in Riverside

June 10, 2010 |  8:34 pm

Former Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Sergio Diaz was named Thursday as chief of the Riverside Police Department.

Diaz, 55, will become chief July 1, the department said. He succeeds former Chief Russ Leach, who resigned after he smashed his vehicle while driving under the influence.

Diaz came to the United States with his family from Cuba in the early 1960s and graduated from Bell High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in administration of justice from Cal State L.A.

During his tenure at the LAPD, Diaz worked in internal affairs, was a captain in the Hollywood Operations Support Division and a deputy chief of operations in the Central Bureau.

Leach pleaded guilty in March to a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of alcohol after he crashed his city-owned vehicle.

Leach had four drinks at his home on Super Bowl Sunday before going to a strip club in Colton, where he had at least seven more. At the time, he was taking prescription pain medication.

As he drove his car, Leach plowed into an object and kept driving for about another mile.

--Robert J. Lopez