Three people have told the Los Angeles Police Department that openly gay deputy police chief David Kalish molested them during the late 1970s, the Los Angeles Times reports. The 49-year-old Kalish, who was among the finalists last year to become head of the LAPD, has been placed on paid leave pending a decision by prosecutors on whether to file charges. A five-month criminal investigation of Kalish coincided with the filing of a civil complaint in October. A man claims that Kalish "harassed, sexually molested, and assaulted him" while he was a youth in the Explorer program during the late 1970s. The man is seeking $25,000 from the city of Los Angeles and asserts that he suffered damages of "severe and permanent emotional distress accompanied by physical manifestations."
While investigating the allegations against Kalish, the LAPD found another person who claims to have been molested by Kalish. A third person contacted the LAPD to say that he too had been molested by Kalish. A decision on whether to file criminal charges against the deputy chief will be made in early April, District Attorney Steve Cooley said.
Kalish, a 28-year veteran of the department, supervises about 2,000 sworn and civilian police employees, overseeing the Hollywood, West Los Angeles, Wilshire, and Pacific area stations. He is among the youngest commanders to hold the rank of deputy chief. Kalish was one of only a few deputy chiefs to stay in his post after William Bratton took over as police chief last fall. Police commission president Rick Caruso declined to comment on Kalish's case other than to say that Kalish is "well respected" and that the case "is being handled no differently than any other sworn officer at LAPD."