Cordell: No Spy in IPA’s Office

LaDoris Cordell, San Jose’s Independent Police Auditor, says a study has concluded that there is no spy inside her office.

“I am greatly relieved that the investigation has determined that there are no leaks of confidential information by any member of my staff,” Cordell said at a press conference outside her downtown office this afternoon.

Cordell announced her conclusions in response to a June 9, 2010 article in the San Jose Mercury News. The newspaper claimed that confidential information from inside the IPA’s office had been leaked to SJPD Sgt. Bobby Lopez, the former president of the San Jose Police Officers Association, during his tenure.

Though Lopez has acknowledged that he did obtain information from a “whistleblower” inside the IPA, he has denied that any of it was confidential.

Following an internal probe by the IPA, as well as an investigation by outside auditor Mike Moye of Hanson Bridgett LLP, Cordell said that she believes no violation of law took place, and that the integrality and independence of her office is intact.

She and Moye took issue with a claim that Lopez was tipped to the fact that the Mercury News had a cell phone video of the October 2009 arrest of Phuong Ho, which resulted in charges of police brutality.

“There is no evidence that IPA staff was aware of a video before the story was printed in the newspaper,” wrote Mike Moye in his report, which was released earlier today on the IPA’s website.

Had Moye’s investigation uncovered a leak of confidential information inside or outside her office that violated the law, Cordell said, she would have immediately referred the matter to the District Attorney’s office.

“What the motivations were of those who made these allegations, I shall never know,” Cordell said. “And I have no interest in finding out. My sole concern is that the integrity of the IPA office is intact.”

Sean Webby, the Mercury News reporter who first reported the suspicions, asked Cordell whether she thought either her staff, former local ACLU representative Skyler Porras or Lopez were lying.

“I do not intend to spend any of my time, or my energy trying to get into the head of Bobby Lopez or Skyler Porras,” Cordell said to Webby.

Cordell said that in response to the allegations (and the fact that she took the IPA position just 32 days ago,) she would be personally sitting down with each member of her staff to re-inform them of her “vision and values.” She said that after the meetings she may “make determinations,” but refused to elaborate on what those would be.

27 Comments

  1. What about getting into the head of Sean Webby and is he lying about what was said by Lopez? 

    Why did Mercury refused to let IPA investigator talk to Webby ?  What is Webby and Mercury hiding ? 

    Did Webby get leaks in IPA office or have aspy in IPA office ? 

    Did Mercury look at Weeby’s interview notes which supported Lopez and did not want those notes out in public

    Say it isn’t so Mercury , say it isn’t so, that Mercury wants Sunshine, openness and transparency everywhere but except Mercury’s reporting

    • The lack of knowledge about journalism on this site is astounding. No reporter worth his or her integrity would ever turn over notes nor would a decent editor require it. If you oppose having a free press then you would advocate turning over notes. If you cherish a free press then you would never want a reporter to give up their notes or reveal sources, etc. The fact that the Mercury won’t sell out their reporter shows the high journalistic standards they abide by. Just because you don’t like the paper doesn’t mean they have done something wrong.

      • Someone call 911 for me.  I think i busted a kidney from laughing so hard.  She said Mercury (news) and “high journalistic standards” in the same sentence.

        What….whatta ya mean 911 is busy.  Damn budget.

        HAHAHAHA!

        Ouch.

      • “The fact that the Mercury won’t sell out their reporter shows the high journalistic standards they abide by.”

        Maybe they got it right on this issue, but in general, Mercury News/high journalistic standards—oxymoron of the month.

      • Jenny Talle,
        I must respectfully disagree with you on this. The Mercury News has continually shown a lack of credible journalism. Most of their stats are skewed to fit their claims of whatever they are touting at the moment. They have hurt a lot of people by pushing their agenda. (Go to Protect San Jose and read stats and blogs by Ed Rast.) 

        I studied journalism for 8 years in college and was on the college paper. My journalism instructor was a man of the utmost integrity who once wrote for the Sun. His two favorite mantras to us were,” You MUST check and re-check your facts!” and “You are not writing an editorial so keep your person opinion to yourself, and just report the facts.”

        He made it very clear to us that as reporters we had the obligation to do no harm! He said reporters have the power to truly damage a person’s life and profession if we don’t report the facts properly. I can tell you that he was absolutely correct about that.

        I find the way the Mercury News couldn’t even report the facts on the sentencing of the people involved in my friends murder, without dragging in the Rosen campaign for DA, to be a prime example of just how unprofessional and bias they are. They hurt my murdered friends family very badly. I say shame on them for the way they continually report stories just to sell papers.

        On a final note, the Metro to its credit exposed just how bias the Merc is when they called them down right here on SJI. Go read this story about the present NAACP President calling the POA Nazis, and the Merc’s excuse for not publishing all his racist comments. http://www.sanjoseinside.com/news/entries/01_14_10_naacp_president_jethroe_moore_poa_nazis/

        They continue to this day to interview this guy to make their stories look credible.

      • I completely agree with you Jenny Talle.  Many people on this site just don’t want to hear the truth.  I know there are good and bad cops, just like there are good and bad doctors, lawyers, etc.  Numbers don’t lie—don’t matter how you skew them.  Good for the Merc!  Good for Sean Webby!

        • Thanks for proving my point. If you have a shred of information that remotely supports your case I’ll be glad to review it. Until then, have a nice holiday.
          BTW – I don’t know who Stand by your Man is but it’s not me. Guess you just like to make up your “facts”.

        • Jenny Talle,
          Consider these personal attacks as a badge of honor. I do when they do it to me, and they have! It only goes to show that your facts or statements are unbeatable to those who can’t compete with credible rebuttals. wink

          Have a great, safe 4th!

        • Which is more likely, that the Mercury News lied with no obvious motive to do so, or that a government investigation was unsuccessful?  While the former is certainly possible, it seems less likely than the latter.

  2. ” The lack of knowledge about journalism on this site is astounding.”  Many will disagree. 

    SJI bloggers and readers are very knowledgeable about journalism ethics, accuracy, accountability. thoroughness, honesty, integrity, credibility, arrogance, and misrepresentation of facts or context

    Mercury is unwilling to encourage public to voice grievances against the news media or admit mistakes and correct them promptly. 

    Mercury public forums are stacked to further their political opinions not to have honest public discussion  

    1. The Society of Professional Journalists – http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

    It is the role of journalists to provide this information in an accurate, comprehensive, timely and understandable manner.  To stimulate high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism.

    The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues.

    Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility.

    Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent.

    They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.

    Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.

    Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.

    Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other.

    Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.

    Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.  Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.

    Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.

    Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.

    2. Journalism – collecting, writing, editing, and presenting of news or news articles in newspapers and magazines and in radio and television broadcasts consisting of direct presentation of facts or occurrences with little attempt at analysis or interpretation.

    3. Yellow Journalism – Journalism that employs exaggeration, scandals, and lurid stories to attract readers.

    The issue is not as you present it about free press “a press not restricted or controlled by government censorship regarding politics or ideology ” but about journalism ethics, and if Mercury exposes unethical journalism practices, abides by the same high standards to which they hold others, and is accountable to their readers or not.

    Many believe that Mercury has poor journalism reputation, questionable ethics and practices Yellow Journalism by publishing selected and distorted news while omitting facts that conflict to further it’s political agenda

      • Yeah, someone working in a police oversight agency allowing some cop to be aware of some of the confidential work they are doing is totally equivalent to an extra-terrestrial invasion, in terms of likelihood.

        • Problem is that no matter what overwhelming evidence is presented that nothing took place, you can always spout that this is not total proof that nothing happened. This investigation was done by an independent and outside entity, one that the new IPA, a very liberal retired judge with a very good record, approved of prior to the investigation. Please give us the proof that something did happen if you know differently, which it sounds like you obviously do.

        • There is basically no such thing as “evidence nothing took place.”  You can’t prove a negative.

          If any given investigation fails to find proof of wrong-doing, its not unreasonable to suspect the miscreants were simply more clever than the investigators.

        • What is this guy talking about?  Raj…is that you?

          If you conduct an investigation, and don’t find any Easter Bunny, that probably just means you didn’t find him, not that he doesn’t exist.

          Hahaha!  Ouch!

          SOS!

        • So if I accuse you of robbing a bank, but the police can find no evidence that the bank was robbed, people should assume that you were you robbed the bank but were clever enough to beat the rap? 

          I’ll have to remember that logic the next time I’m called for jury duty. It should get me off, for sure! wink

  3. Just another example of the tabloid the Mercury has become, and the third grade reporters who work for the Mercury. They have zero credibility.

  4. Buck says,
        If Mercury so good why is it going broke?  Maybe the standards are so high that they cannot reach them.  Logical?  Buck sees in the future.  Don’t wake up early for an early Sunday edition.  Soon to be gone into the place called space.  Empty Space

    • The Mercury actually was a pretty good paper…15 years ago.  But at 75 cents an issue, the tiny little editions they put out now simply aren’t worth it.  I still can’t believe they nixed the Perspective section from the Sunday edition.  I can remember when that section was 12 pages long, every week.

  5. Shakespeare might have had the City of San Jose in mind when he wrote, “it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
    All this bullshit. It’s depressing when you see just what a small percentage of all the effort and money that the city expends actually translates into anything useful.

  6. Jenny,

    Read your, Kathleen and Journalism Ethics comments which seems to answer you.

    I agree with Kathleen and JE that Mercury’s Jouralism and ethics are at question not Free speech that you believe is the issue.

    What are you comments on quality of Mercury’s journalism and ethics answering Kathleen and JE ‘s comments?