About 60 people came to the Atherton community outreach meeting on Monday night, Feb. 22, and while most wanted to know about the recent spate of home burglaries or to complain about traffic problems, a few had more serious grievances to air to City Manager Jerry Gruber and police Chief Mike Guerra.
Atherton resident Jon Buckheit is suing the town for allegedly violating his civil rights in a 2008 domestic dispute that resulted in his arrest. Mr. Buckheit subsequently won a declaration of factual innocence and had his record wiped clean. He said that the police report from his arrest included a trumped up child abuse charge.
"One of your officers said he never wrote any child abuse allegations (in the report)," Mr. Buckheit said to Chief Guerra. "I think you should investigate and you should fire whoever's responsible."
Chief Guerra said that the police records were sealed by the San Mateo Superior Court judge who granted the factual innocence declaration, and that he was working to get access in order to do an investigation.
Lifelong Atherton resident Melinda Tevis said that Chief Guerra himself had been rude and intimidating to her when he was an officer. She said she had stopped calling the police because she knew that the police department had put her on a "do not respond list," a charge Chief Guerra denied.
"We do not have a do not respond list," he said.
Ms. Tevis said she'd always been a supporter of the Atherton police department, but in the past five years she'd seen troubling behavior.
"I'm looking for serious evidence of meaningful change," she said.
The event was held at the pavilion at Holbrook-Palmer Park, 150 Watkins Ave. in Atherton.