Imperial council hears resident's accusations of harassment against city Police Department

January 03, 2001|By ANTHONY LONGORIA, Staff Writer

IMPERIAL — Actions taken by the Imperial Police Department were questioned by an Imperial resident at a City Council meeting here Wednesday night.

During the public appearances section of the meeting, Stephen Aguirre appeared before the council and made complaints against the Imperial Police Department, accusing it of harassment and mishandling complaints against officers he made to the department.

Aguirre claimed he was wrongfully arrested for misuse of 911 emergency services.

He later offered to take a lie-detector test to prove to the council his complaints are valid.

The council said it would investigate Aguirre's complaints.

In another matter, in December the council declared the office of treasurer vacant and sought candidates for appointment rather than conducting an election.

Three individuals applied for the position, but former City Councilman Steve Shaner was appointed by unanimous vote as city treasurer Wednesday night.


Shaner is no stranger to the office of city treasurer as he held the job from 1984 to 1996, giving up the position for a seat on the City Council in 1996.

A first reading of an ordinance defining the office of city manager was done at the meeting.

The city has been without a permanent city manager since August when Jeannie Lenefsky resigned. Lyle Alberg, a former Hemet city manager, has served as interim city manager in her stead.

Alberg told the council the ordinance was necessary to "state publicly what powers are delegated to the city manager."

According to Alberg, the role of city manager was never clearly defined by the city and the ordinance would clearly define the authority of the city manager as "the administrative head of the city government under the direction of the City Council."

A similar ordinance was set to be drafted for the department of finance.

Jurg Heuberger, director of the county Local Agency Formation Commission, gave a presentation to the council informing it of the new state laws pertaining to LAFCO.

Among the most significant changes is a share in the cost of LAFCO that local cities must undertake. Under the new laws, the cities of the county will be responsible for 50 percent of the operating costs of LAFCO starting in July.

The council will next meet at 6 p.m. Jan. 17 in council chambers at 420 S. Imperial Ave.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles