UPDATE, JUNE 24, 10:11 A.M.: I still haven't heard back from the Anaheim City Attorney's office over its prosecution of retired pervy
police chief Paul Lawrence Wadley. Perhaps given my history with the case (see the 150 updates that precede this one), they assume I'll blame them for the cops getting off for beating Rodney King.
But the city has aired its defense elsewhere of the plea deal its attorneys cut with Huntington Park's former top cop.
“The disposition (of the case) was based on the totality of the
circumstances,” Anaheim city spokeswoman Ruth Ruiz reportedly says in a prepared
statement released Thursday afternoon to the Orange County Register. “Mr. Wadley received no favorable
I say “reportedly” because I haven't seen it. Ruiz is said to continue:
“We believe these conditions will adequately protect the public and ensure Mr. Wadley gets the treatment he needs.”
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury of public opinion, you do not know how difficult it is for me to avoid climbing back up onto my soap box to react to that last sentence. Just picture Dr. Strangelove, only I'm frantically grabbing my leg instead of my “Heil, Hitler” arm.
Anyhoots, the Register took a shot at getting comments from the city attorneys who actually handled the case, but they were stymied, being told Ruiz's statement will be the city's only comment.
So there you have it. Wrap “The Wad” case in a bow and consider it officially over. No muss, no fuss.
The treatment he needs . . . Gack! . . . Mein Führer! . . . I can walk!!!
UPDATE, JUNE 23, 4:10 P.M.: My corrections on the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) role in the . . . ahem . . . prosecution of retired pervy
police chief Paul Lawrence Wadley are apparently in need of
correcting or clarifying or dissecting of the OCDA from the whole sordid
mess. As OCDA Chief of Staff Susan Kang Schroeder so helpfully
notes in an email, I implied “some sinister plot by our Office” when I
wondered aloud . . . well, the virtual version of aloud . . . why the
Anaheim city attorney took the case against “The Wad” and not those
take-no-bullshit prosecutors on Civic Center.
Turns out Anaheim takes all such cases.
“The City of Anaheim handles all misdemeanor prosecutions
coming out of their city per their city charter,” Schroeder wrote. “The same is true for
Los Angeles and San Diego.”
As OCDA spokeswoman Farrah Emami further clarified over the phone, Anaheim is the only city in Orange County where its city attorney handles all misdemeanor prosecutions. Other cities will, say, prosecute misdemeanor code violations and leave other misdemeanors–especially criminal ones like the ones against Wadley–to the OCDA.
So that explains why, for instance, the OCDA–and not the city of Irvine–is prosecuting the misdemeanor charges of conspiracy and disruption of a meeting against the so-called “Irvine 11.” If the incident that sparked the charges had happened in Anaheim, and the city attorney decided to prosecute, that office would have presumably taken the case and not the OCDA.
Schroeder knows the routine between her office and that of the Anaheim city attorney well: “I was a deputy city attorney in
Anaheim for four years before I joined the DA's
Office,” she writes.
UPDATE, JUNE 23, 10:23 A.M.: Complete with Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) Chief of Staff Susan Kang Schroeder calling it “outrageous” that an OC Weekly reporter (gulp . . . me) would not contact her office before publishing my post on the negotiated plea deal for retired
police chief Paul Lawrence Wadley, the promised press release correcting my wayward ways has been sent out.
“Law enforcement should be held accountable for
their mistakes,” Schroeder continues, “and so should reporters who wrongly report the facts to
The full statement follows:
June 23, 2011
OC WEEKLY FALSELY ACCUSES OCDA OF “WRIST SLAP” PLEA BARGAIN OF RETIRED
POLICE CHIEF WHO EXPOSED PENIS AND LEFT NUDE PICTURES IN PARK
*This case was prosecuted by another agency and the OC Weekly failed to verify the facts or call for clarification
SANTA ANA – On June 22, 2011, at 3:27 p.m., the OC Weekly published an online story by reporter Matt
Coker entitled “[UPDATED with Limp Wrist Slap:] Paul Lawrence Wadley,
Retired Police Chief, Left Nude Photos and Exposed His Junk on Park
Trails.” This story falsely states that the Orange County District
Attorney's Office (OCDA) negotiated a plea agreement with a retired
police chief, Paul Lawrence Wadley, who was prosecuted by the Anaheim
City Attorney's Office.
The lead of the story reads, “For all of District Attorney Tony
Rackauckas' blather about having to protect children from perverts in
Orange County parks, he and his local law enforcement pals know how to
keep their resulting laws from extending to their own.”
Wadley was prosecuted by the Anaheim City Attorney's Office and pleaded
guilty yesterday, June 22, 2011, to misdemeanors for prowling and
vehicle tampering, for which he was sentenced to three years of formal
probation, 150 hours of community service, and fines. The OCDA was in no
way involved in the prosecution of this case.
The OC Weekly erroneously claims that the OCDA gave the defendant a
“wrist slap” because he was a Caucasian former member of law enforcement
and that the defendant would have received a greater sentence if he had
been “young, black and/or undocumented.”
The reporter for this story never contacted the OCDA for a comment or
clarification and never provided the opportunity to respond.
“It's outrageous for the OC Weekly to print this story without ever
giving us the chance to comment or clarify. If they had called our
Office, they would have known in seconds that this was an Anaheim City
Attorney case, not a District Attorney case,” stated OCDA Chief of Staff
Susan Kang Schroeder. “Law enforcement should be held accountable for
their mistakes, and so should reporters who wrongly report the facts to
UPDATE, JUNE 22, 10:08 A.M.: Emails have been flying this morning between the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) and yours truly.
At a time when the OCDA is strong arming cities to impose bans on
registered sex offenders in public parks, I noted the hypocrisy of retired Huntington Park Police Chief Paul Lawrence Wadley–the 56-year-old Anaheim resident who demonstrated a penchant got getting pervy in parks by leaving nude photos of male and female body parts on one
trail, exposing his junk and butt to a woman on another and placing
penis pictures in car windshields in a park's lot–not having to register as a sex offender or spend any time in jail as part of his “punishment.”
The OCDA's response is essentially this: Don't blame us, and if I'd done my homework, I would have known that.
“Nice of you to blame the DA's office, but this was an Anaheim City
Attorney case,” reads the first email, from OCDA spokeswoman Farrah Emami. “Looking forward to your immediate (and very apologetic)
She then provides a link to my post and this parting shot, “Poor form by you not doing your homework.”
Emami cc'd her email to her boss, Chief of Staff Susan Kang Schroeder, who came back at me with this:
“What the . . . Not okay for you to print this, but not even
allow us to comment. If you had called us or emailed us and given us a
chance to weigh in, you would have known this was
not our case. Please tell me how you are going to fix this.”
Hopefully, I just did. But in case I didn't, Schroeder followed up with an email titled “Fair warning” that informed she's sending out a press release to correct my previous post. So, we've got that to look forward to in the next update.
Meanwhile, the Anaheim City Attorney's office has been contacted in an attempt to get to the bottom of why this case was not handled by the OCDA and how they justify Wadley's wrist slap . . . er . . . surely reasonably punishment. Whew, glad I caught myself.
UPDATE, JUNE 22, 3:27 P.M.: For all of District Attorney Tony Rackauckas'
blather about of having to protect children from perverts in Orange
County parks, he and his local law enforcement pals know to keep their
resulting laws from extending to their own*.
[*Point of major clarification: The DA's office did not prosecute the case detailed below, the Anaheim city attorney did.]
Which explains why retired Huntington Park Police Chief Paul Lawrence Wadley–a
56-year-old Anaheim resident who left nude photos of male and female
body parts on one
trail, exposed his junk and butt to a woman on another and placed
penis pictures in car windshields in a park's lot (all readily visible
to our precious little ones)–won't register as a sex offender or spend
one nanosecond in jail. 'Cause that's Justice (read: Just Us), Orange
If Wadley was young, black and/or undocumented, he would be cooling his heels in a state prison cell or deportation launching facility by now. He'd be one of the incarcerated we write about T-Rack fighting to keep from getting paroled. Hell, get caught peeing in public as a teen and you can get tagged a sex offender these days.
But a member of the Good Ol' Johnny Law Boys Club?
And so, for all those disgusting things Wadley did described above, he only had to cop at the North Justice Center in Fullerton to two misdemeanor counts of prowling and one count of vehicle tampering, which drew him this wrist slap: three years of formal probation, 150 hours
of community service and $176 in fines.
Considering state pension-loaded Wadley was cruising in international waters at the time his fingerprints linked him to the lewd park trail shows, don't fret about the retiree being able to come up with the scratch for the fine.
They did take away Wadley's firearms–until the deal was reached, at which time they were returned.
Feel safer for your kids, Orange County parkgoers?
UPDATE, DEC. 20, 2010, 5:40 P.M.: Retired Huntington Park Police Chief Paul Lawrence Wadley pleaded not guilty today to misdemeanor indecent exposure charges.
The 56-year-old Anaheim resident had previously turned himself in to authorities after returning from an overseas trip.
Wadley was away, Anaheim Police identified him as the suspect wanted
for allegedly leaving nude photos of male and female body parts on one
trail, exposing his junk and butt to a woman on another and placing male
penis pictures in car windshields in a park's lot.
ORIGINAL POST, DEC. 16, 2010, 8:07 A.M.: Police believe one of their own
left nude photos of male and female body parts on one Anaheim Hills
trail, exposed his junk and butt to a woman on another and placed male
penis pictures in car windshields in a park's lot.
An arrest warrant has been issued for retired Huntington Park Police Chief Paul Lawrence Wadley, who is thought to be out of the country.
It all began as a mystery: a woman kept finding photos of male and female genitalia on a trail near Oak Canyon Road in east Anaheim. She destroyed the photos and threw them away until Nov. 4, when the sight of one more picture of a man's junk prompted her to call the cops.
Then, on Nov. 25, a different woman on a hiking trail near Toyon Park was passed by a man who lowered his pants to his knees to expose his bare essentials. Four days later, around 6:15 a.m., a group of nine women who exercised in the same park returned to their vehicles in the parking lot to find photos of a man's junk on the windshields of their cars.
The women from both those cases contacted Anaheim Police, but none could recall seeing anyone suspicious at the time of their creepy discoveries. Officers patrolled the park and found similar photos.
The prints are what cracked the case. The forensics team was able to link them to 56-year-old Wadley, who resides in Anaheim.
Police fear there may be other victims; call Detective Matt Adrian at 714.765.1960 if you believe you may be one or know someone else who is.
Huntington Park cops might want to check the archives to see if there are any unsolved cases involving flashers and lewd photos from Wadley's 30 years with the department.
He joined the police agency in 1980 after five years as a recreation supervisor for the city of about 60,000 located 6.5 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. He rose through the ranks, serving in every department except the bike patrol and canine unit, before being named assistant chief in 2007. He was promoted to chief two years ago.
When he announced in February he would retire when his contract ended on June 30, Huntington Park City Manager Greg Korduner, who had previously worked as an administrator in several cities, told the Los Angeles Wave community newspaper that Wadley was the best police chief he had ever worked with.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.