Ex-Universal Exec Claims Top L.A. Officials ‘Orchestrated’ Effort to Discredit Him After LAPD Beating
Former Universal Pictures co-chairman Brian Mulligan claims in a new court filing that Los Angeles chief of police Charlie Beck and other top city and police union officials “orchestrated” an effort to discredit him as he pursued a complaint after being beaten by two officers as he visited an Eagle Rock medical marijuana dispensary in May, 2012.
Mulligan, who is suing the LAPD and police union for $20 million, is focusing on the Los Angeles Police Protective League’s release in October of a tape of a visit that Mulligan made to the Glendale police department several days before he was beaten. In the tape, he admits to using “bath salts,” the designer street drugs that experts say can produce episodes of paranoia and violent behavior. Mulligan lost his job the next month as a senior executive at Deutsche Bank.
In a filing on Monday, Mulligan’s lead attorney, Skip Miller of Miller Barondess, claims that “the LAPD’s top brass were working with the Union and the publicist to get the tape and use it to hammer Mulligan.”They say that the release of the tape was in violation of the LAPD’s own policy, including that department files are confidential and show not be disclosed by officers except “in performance of their official duties.”
Mulligan’s legal team says that a series of emails obtained during the discovery process show that the LAPD’s Force Investigation Division and its head, Capt. Robert Lopez, obtained the tape from Glendale city officials “under false pretenses.” Included in their filing is a sworn declaration from Glendale City Attorney Ann Maurer, in which she says that “if I had been told that the audio recording would be released to any third party other than in connection with the LAPD use of force investigation, I would not have agreed to informally provide the recording to the LAPD.”
Mulligan’s filing claims that Beck had to give the order for the LAPD’s Force Investigation Division to seek the tape from Glendale P.D., and emails show that he was aware of attempts to obtain it.
Mulligan’s legal team includes copies of emails, including an Oct. 10, 2012 e-mail from assistant city attorney Cory Brente, made on his personal email account, to Tyler Izen, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League. It shows that Brente sent a message to Izen with “Mulligan Recording” in the subject line. “Tyler, Here it is. Let me know if you have problems opening it.” “Got it. Thanks.” Izen responds.
Other emails, from members of the police union, show them making light of the May, 2012 incident. One, from Jason Oliverez to Kristi Sandoval and Melissa Afable, show a picture of Mulligan in a business suit and a photo of his beaten face, taken after the beating, with the wording “Before Bath Salts” and “After Bath Salts.” “Can we use any of these? (hehe)” Oliverez writes.
A spokesman for the LAPPL, Eric Rose, said in a statement, “The Los Angeles Police Protective League does not determine LAPD policy. It is the position of the LAPPL that the unedited, complete version of Mr. Mulligan’s tape recorded conversation with another law enforcement agency is not confidential.”
Commander Andrew Smith, a spokesman for the LAPD, said that they refrain from commenting on pending litigation, and that an internal investigation is ongoing about Mulligan’s allegations, including the release of the tape. “We cannot comment on ongoing Internal Affairs investigations,” he said.