- 2001 MAR 27 -


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01-03-27          0700    Went to see S/Sgt. J.J. KING first thing this morning to discuss the note matter.  I have known J.J. since coming to this division in 1988.  He has a great amount of operational experience as a Policeman and has now been on Internal Investigations for quite some time.  If anyone knows about notes, it is he.  I have a great respect for him and for his opinion. 

            After outlining the matter, I showed him the paper that I was made to sign.  His first reaction was that under the circumstances, I certainly must have been under duress, because of who was present and what was being discussed, and the manner in which the discussions were held.  Second, with the volume of notes involved, and the lack of notice given regarding the subject matter, there is no way that I could have reviewed the notes, something that forms the very first line of the statement.  And then, he asked what it is that I am to edit.  There is nothing specific mentioned in the statement, only generalities.  Then, the idea of changing or editing is unclear.  I told him that the intent of Insp. LATHEM, as I understand it, was to have two versions of the notes.  J.J. ensured me that there is no way that material can be deleted from the notes.  If there is something specific that I believe to be wrong, then it can only be corrected by making an addition with the appropriate notation specifying that fact.  He stated that under no conditions can one have two sets of notes.  To attempt to go to court with two sets would only invite disaster.  The key here is that I have to believe the particular notation to be wrong, and that something added will correct the issue.  Because someone else thinks they are wrong does not count.

            J.J.ís advice was that I should contact Insp. LATHEM to request that he specify what particular areas he has a problem with, by page and content.  I can then either clarify the matter for him if need be, or if there is a mistake in the accuracy of the material, I can then add a notation of clarification to ensure the accuracy of the notes.  However, he thought that I do not have the time to go through more than one thousand pages of notes to pick out areas that I think Insp. LATHEM may have a problem with.

            I asked J.J. what would happen if Insp. LATHEM orders me to change the notes.  He felt that this would not happen, as it is an illegal act and I would have every grounds to refuse such an order.  If it went so far as to be a refusal of an order, then the matter would go to his office, and he would have to bow out of the investigation because of our discussion.  But he felt that such an incident would not occur because of the obvious nature of the event.

            I will put together a memo and forward it to him to reflect this approach to the matter, but only when I feel it is appropriate to do so.  This could cause quite a fracas, something that could jeopardize my continued involvement in this file.  In the interests of the investigation, and as a promise to John GARSTANG, I do not want to cut that involvement short.




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