L.A.'s Gates facing ouster

  Haya El Nasser;Jonathan T. Lovitt


  USA Today


  Page 01A

  (Copyright 1992)


  LOS ANGELES - An angry police commission Sunday began a battle to oust

  police Chief Daryl Gates, demanding his unconditional surrender.


  ``There are no deals with Daryl Gates,'' said commission chief Stanley



  He called the meeting after Gates last weekend threatened to stay past his June

  30 retirement date. ``We're going to hold him to his word.''


  The group voted to hire outside legal counsel to explore options, including firing

  Gates. The City Council is expected to approve the move Tuesday.


  Gates told The Los Angeles Times Friday: ``I said I was going to retire at the

  end of June and my feeling is now, `Screw you, I'll retire when I want.' ''


  Gates has often postponed retirement. This new change of heart comes after a

  dispute over his demand that promotions he favors be awarded.


  A press conference is set for today. But the threat could:


  - Void the appointment of his successor, former Philadelphia top cop Willie



  - Force another costly search for a new chief.


  - Touch off more violence. Saturday, dozens of police were pelted with rocks at

  a south-central housing project.


  Gates has been under pressure to leave since the March 3, 1991, police beating

  of motorist Rodney King.


  If Gates stays on through July 15, Williams could be out of a job because under a

  measure passed last week - and expected to be on the books by July 15 - the

  authority to choose a new chief will shift from the commission to the mayor and

  City Council.


  Gates has been a vocal opponent of the measure, but may now enforce it.


  Also, the council is considering whether Gates' latest move, coupled with his

  actions during the riots, are grounds to cut his salary by $44,000 to $133,000 a

  year. Any such move would affect his pension.


  Gates has been widely criticized for attending a political fund-raiser during the



  Said Councilman Michael Woo: ``This is a disgrace. ... We must remove Chief