3 Manhattan Beach Officers Fired For Post-Bar Hit-And-Run
Three Manhattan Beach Police Department -- Richard Hatten, Kristopher Thompson and Eric Eccles -- were officially fired on Friday for their involvement in a hit-and-run and coverup in 2010 that allegedly occurred after the off duty officers left a bar. A fourth officer, Bryan Klatt, has been demoted from lieutenant to officer for not immediately informing the department about the accident.
Reports the Daily Breeze:
"Hatten, Thompson and Eccles were allegedly involved in the Jan. 31, 2010 crash on Sepulveda Boulevard in Manhattan Beach after leaving Grunion's bar, where they had been drinking off-duty. The officers were reportedly riding in Hatten's Chevrolet Corvette at the time of the crash. No one was seriously hurt. A fourth Manhattan Beach police officer, Jeff Goodrich, responded to the accident scene. After the crash, sources told the Daily Breeze that he did not file a police report after running the car's license plate number and learning it belonged to Hatten. Goodrich, who died of cancer in October, was placed on leave shortly after the crash."
While the case was being reviewed, the officers were paid on administrative leave for more than one year collecting nearly $500,000 in annual salary and benefit compensation, according to city records, notes the Daily Breeze. The former officers can appeal their dismissal with an outside arbitrator or by the Los Angeles County Civil Services Commission and if still unsuccessful, could appeal through the local and state court system. If the officers were to win their appeals and become reinstated, they would be entitled to back pay.