As controversies and a grand jury investigation swirl around the Mammoth Police Department, sources in and outside of Mammoth Lakes now say that Mammoth Police Chief Randy Schienle has tried to put a lid on what he believes are information leaks within his department.
Reports indicate that Police Chief Randy Schienle issued a memo to put a stop to any police officer feeding information to the media or to the town council. Further reports said the grand jury, in the midst of a police department investigation, had become aware of this memo and objected.
When asked about this, Town Manager Rob Clark said, I’m not familiar with that. I dont know. Mammoth Police Chief Randy Schienle is out of the office this week and unavailable for comment.
Asked about the reported memo, Mammoth Police Lieutenant Jim Short said, Im not aware of that. But then he added that over 18 months the department has been dealing with so many different issues that this might have been one of the many things that came out in department meetings. Short said there are numerous memos that go out to the troops.
Asked if he had ever warned officers not to say too much to the grand jury, Lt. Short said, No, I haven’t done that. We do all talk in briefings, he said, about whats appropriate.
The Lieutenant said the only thing that has been said was that things intended to be confidential sometimes do get out. Did he try to discourage testimony to the grand jury? Short said, No. Not at all.
Asked if he and Town Attorney Peter Tracy have talked to the Mono District Attorney about the latest police controversy, Mammoth Town Manager Rob Clark did confirm that he and the town attorney have talked to the DA, but he declined to elaborate. Clark did re-state that the DA is handling the Internal Investigation into the involvement of two Mammoth police officers in a bar brawl in Bishop.
As for the grand jury investigation centered on the police department, Clark did confirm that he has testified. Other sources said that police officers, including the Chief have also testified. A report is expected in July.