Fullerton Chief, Captain, and Ex-Sergeant Facing Criminal Inquires in Separate Incidents
A former Fullerton police sergeant has been charged with one felony count of filing a false police report just days after it emerged that the city’s police chief is also under criminal investigation. The two incidents, which are not related, paint a portrait of a department that continues to see its fair share of turmoil.
The Sergeant, the City Manager, and the DUI
Sgt. Rodger Jeffrey Corbett was called to investigate a single-vehicle crash involving ex-city manager Joseph Felz in November of 2016. Felz, who appeared intoxicated, was eventually charged with driving under the influence and attempting to leave the scene. He accepted a plea deal mandating three months probation and 40 hours of community service.
But Sergeant Corbett allegedly vouched for the manager’s sobriety at the time because of his government position, submitting a false report and even personally driving Felz home. Corbett, who has been off the force since March of last year, is now scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 18.
The Chief, the Captain, and a Concert Scuffle
Late last month, it was also announced that Fullerton’s police chief David Hendricks and another police captain had been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into an off-duty incident that occurred at a Lady Antebellum concert.
Fullerton Police Chief David Hendricks and a city police captain were placed on paid administrative leave Saturday after the two were involved in an off-duty “disagreement” at a country music concert, officials said.
Irvine police responded to the Five Point Amphitheater during a Lady Antebellum concert about 9:40 p.m. Friday after receiving reports of a disturbance between two off-duty members of the Fullerton Police Department and two on-duty emergency medical technicians, said Irvine police spokeswoman Kim Mohr.
The two officers — identified as Hendricks and Capt. Thomas Oliveras — left the concert after being asked to do so by Irvine police.
Mohr said no injuries were reported. An Irvine detective is investigating the incident to see if a crime occurred, she said.
Both Hendricks and the captain have been accused of battery. Capt. Bob Dunn has taken over as acting chief.
Department Controversies Come Full Circle
Chief Hendricks has only been on the job for a year. His predecessor, Dan Hughes, departed for an executive security position at Disneyland amid accusations that he obstructed justice in connection with that 2016 DUI incident involving the ex-city manager. It was Chief Hughes who had called Officer Corbett to the scene and directed him to drive Joseph Felz home, according to an investigator with the county’s district attorney’s office.
Hughes’ predecessor Kevin Hamilton left the department after the 2011 beating death of Kelly Thomas.