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Added the story, “The ticket was eventually dismissed by the chief's office. In April, Yeatts had Asst. Chief Bob Burgreen dismiss a parking ticket he received while driving a Mercedes-Benz owned by the Smiths.”

According to the paper, Smith "said in an interview that he does not approve of asking police officials to dismiss tickets. 'I would suspect Bill probably feels the same way now,' Smith said. 'It probably puts forth an appearance of impropriety that none of us wants.’"

Kolender drew a hand-slap from then–city manager John Lockwood, who held that only a reprimand, not a fine or dismissal, was appropriate in light of the chief's behavior, which also included Kolender's use of policewoman Jeanne Taylor to drive his children to dental appointments and for other personal errands, accepting free Chargers season tickets, and V.I.P. gun transfers.

Predicted Lockwood: "When Chief Kolender passes away or retires, you know what they're going to write? 'Chief Kolender, who was publicly reprimanded in 1986 by the city manager for accepting gifts….’ They're going to be writing that forever."

Helen Copley

In August 1988, Kolender stepped down as chief to go to work for Helen Copley at the Union-Tribune. The decline in newspapers had already started, but U-T staffers were threatening to strike for higher wages and better working conditions. Copley wanted to slash expenses and needed law-enforcement muscle to keep the staffers in their place.

By late 1989, the dispute had grown so heated that reporters showed up at a synagogue in Solana Beach to hand out anti-Copley leaflets at a banquet where Kolender was being feted.

He returned the favor in late December, taking up a post at a door of the newspaper’s Mission Valley headquarters as workers exited on the eve of a threatened walk-out.

"As the midnight strike deadline approached Friday, Kolender, now a high-level assistant to the U-T publisher, positioned himself at the turnstile that employees use to leave the building," reported the Los Angeles Times in a December 27 account of the incident.

"Kolender checked to see if anyone was carting off company property. Among other things, he seized a Rolodex from Union reporter Joe Gandelman."

The story added, "Gandelman says he told Kolender that the Rolodex had been privately purchased. Kolender told a television reporter that he thought Gandelman said the Rolodex belonged to the company."

The next day, two Copley editors called Gandelman to say his Rolodex would be "returned immediately and that he can do with it as he wishes," the Times reported.

David Copley

Besides handling rowdy reporters, Kolender was paid big money to keep an eye on David Copley, the publisher's son, who was leading an out-of-control life of drinking and related debauchery at Foxhole, his luxury residential complex in La Jolla.

Copley had been repeatedly arrested for driving under the influence, landing him in a county work camp for a series of weekends.

It was said that Kolender, a hard partier himself, was intended by Helen Copley to become the father figure that David, conceived out of wedlock by Helen and adopted at age 13 by her second husband Jim Copley, never had.

Bill Gore

With backing from Copley and her friends in San Diego's GOP establishment, Kolender was elected sheriff in June 1994, beating conservative Republican incumbent Jim Roache.

Kolender's long goodbye to San Diego began when he resigned during his fifth term in April 2009, clearing the way for hand-picked successor and big-money establishment favorite Bill Gore to be appointed sheriff by the county board of supervisors, as urged by the Union-Tribune.

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davestutz Oct. 8, 2015 @ 11:11 a.m.

Most people forget or don't know of Kolender's dark side. He fell off his high horse when he played the political game to become Chief. He was a great street cop but entered politics and never was the same. He's not the only one. Look at Gore. Watching Kolender lead Dumanis around by her nose ring edorseing every right wig nut was hard to watch.


swell Oct. 8, 2015 @ 12:33 p.m.

Corporate and government leadership is filled with tall, attractive people who are good at schmoozing, who have connections and who have money support. Their personal interests have priority over the interests of those they are responsible for.

The smart thing would be to fill these positions with people who have an appropriate education, an honorable reputation, and the specific skills required for the job.

Ah, but when has the voter or corporate board ever done the smart thing? We elect B class movie stars to the presidency and pro wrestlers to governorships. And the top candidate for president today is a crackpot entertainer.

Thanks Matt, for a detailed contrast to some of the other comments about this politician.


Visduh Oct. 8, 2015 @ 3:23 p.m.

I guess I was one of the few who didn't love him. He was one of the biggest mistakes Pete Wilson ever made, if in fact, Pete was responsible for making him chief of police. (It would be worth remembering that in those days, SD had a city manager government, not a "strong" mayor arrangement.) But after taking charge of the SDPD, crime in the city ballooned, and he seemed to have no notion of what his department could do about that. And the department became notoriously trigger happy. Ed Miller never charged any of them with murder, but he should have. When the criticism of the SDPD got loud--in spite of support by the Tribune and Union and Helen Copley--ol' Bill just pulled up the ladder and the department refused to accept any criticism and got more isolated with passing years. Many years when the SDPD needed to progress from the hick town department it had been, to a big city department, were squandered.

Bill was a politician, not a real cop.


monaghan Oct. 8, 2015 @ 4:06 p.m.

Whatever else he did, when Bill Kolender became Chief of Police, the cops stopped hassling kids at the Windansea Beach parking lot and detaining people who liked to run through neighborhoods at night. And when he became Sheriff, replacing an odious macho predecessor, Kolender insisted on more civilized and humane behavior from his subordinates.


jnojr Oct. 12, 2015 @ 10:34 a.m.

Kolender's last election should have been overturned. He was already deep into dementia, and was propped up as an incumbent solely for the purpose of using that guaranteed victory to issue the job to Bill Gore. There should have been a REAL election where the voters got to decide. Of course, it's our fault for generally re-electing incumbent Sheriffs with no real review. But we might have wound up with someone who respected the Constitution instead of someone who oversaw the murder of a 14 year old and his mother because some dude was alleged to have a shotgun that might have been a little shorter than some arbitrary length.


Visduh Oct. 17, 2015 @ 10:28 a.m.

I"d plumb forgotten about that sham of an election. Kolender was kept out of sight during the campaign, and the explanation was that he was so revered (and so busy) that there was no need for him to make appearances. Then he did make one and his incapacity was in plain view. If you want to make a case about low-information voters and the power of incumbency, you need look no farther than the sheriff in this county. Duffy ran unopposed most times, as did ol' Bill. Opponents had to conclude that running against either one of them was futile, and might be hazardous to their health.


monaghan Oct. 12, 2015 @ 2:25 p.m.

All probably true about the last Kolender election and Gore succession, but let's reflect for a moment on this Columbus Day about the difference between actual and perceived historical truths. Take a look at the OB Rag's piece on Christopher Columbus and note that Seattle, Minneapolis and Berkeley have renamed this holiday in honor of Native Americans. Proof that we are educable, we can change and do better. Even in local elections.


jnojr Oct. 12, 2015 @ 3:53 p.m.

More like proof that we're malleable. Cristopher Columbus was celebrated for a historic achievement. That's to be thrown away in favor of celebrating people for... what? Existing? "Native Americans" were far more brutal to each other than the "white man" ever was. This is nothing more than bleating, hand-wringing political correctness run absolutely insane.


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