Investigator to review complaint against chief


A private investigator, who served a long stint with the San Francisco District Attorney's Office and has reviewed hundreds of personnel matters for public agencies and private corporations, will investigate a complaint against Atherton Police Chief Mike Guerra and Lt. Joe Wade, the town announced Friday, April 15.

The town said that David Reuben will look into allegations of misconduct by the chief and Lt. Wade, filed by former finance director John Johns.

Interim City Manager John Danielson chose Mr. Reuben to assist him in the personnel investigation, according to a contract signed by Mr. Reuben on April 11.

Mr. Reuben is the principal of DR Associates International of Davis. The firm has been the investigative consultant for the Oakland City Attorney's Office since 1983, according to a statement issued by the town.

Under terms of the contract, Mr. Reuben will be paid $175 per hour, not to exceed a combined total of $6,125 without the city manager's approval.

Mr. Johns alleges that Chief Guerra and Lt. Wade denied him "the right to a (proper), thorough and timely investigation of the citizen's complaints I filed during the time frame of February 2010 through January 2011."

Those complaints stemmed from his August 2007 detainment by police at the Atherton Town Center, when he was on paid administrative leave while being investigated by the town. He was subsequently fired, then successfully sued the town for wrongful termination.

Chief Guerra hired Pete Peterson, a former police chief of Clayton, California, to investigate Mr. Johns' original complaints, which included allegations against several officers involved in the 2007 incident.

Mr. Peterson concluded in March that Mr. Johns' complaints were unfounded.

Mr. Johns, who has recently written a flurry of emails and postings on the Almanac's Town Square forum complaining about Mr. Danielson's authority in choosing the investigator, said Friday that he had reconsidered his opposition.

"I trust Mr. Danielson's judgment and intentions," he said, adding that he had "acted rashly ... in questioning his intentions so far."

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Like this comment
Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 15, 2011 at 9:24 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

As expected Mr. Danielson has selected a well qualified and totally independent person to conduct this investigation.

Like this comment
Posted by Selection and common sense
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 16, 2011 at 1:44 am

This is a very tough problem since I suspect that those who have lodged complaints will never been satisfied unless some finding of misconduct has been made. Perhaps reasonably so, certainly at least from their perspective. I therefore hope that Mr. Danielson will instruct David Reuben to not only come up with a conduct finding, but also detail how the APD can handle things more professionally going forward no matter what that finding may be.

Like this comment
Posted by GoodIntentions
a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Those rates are very reasonable. By today's standards the sound out of Dashiell Hammett/Sam Spade days.
Let's hope everyone is happy though it is doubtful.

Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 16, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Happy this time. In Atherton? I doubt it especially with the individual involved. But, perhaps this investigation will get to the bottom of the complaint and Atherton can move on.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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