LAPD Spied on Mayor, Attorney General, Detective Says

Aug. 16, 1983, Risky Business

Aug. 16, 1983, LAPD Spying

Aug. 16, 1983: Former Times reporter Joel Sappell reports on allegations by Detective Michael J. Rothmiller that the LAPD’s Organized Crime Intelligence Division spied on Mayor Tom Bradley, then-Atty.Gen. John Van de Kamp, and other U.S., state, county and local officials.

In the theaters: “Cujo,” “The Grey Fox,” “The Man Who Wasn’t There 3-D,” “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” “Trading Places” and “Zelig.”

On TV: “The A Team” “The team lands smack in the middle of a battle between a monstrous motorcycle gang and a small-town sheriff (Repeat).”

Leonard Slatkin conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.

Yul Brynner is performing “The King and I” with his wife, Kathy Lee, at the Pantages.

David Bowie’s concert at the Forum is reviewed by Robert Hilburn. It is “the most captivatingly ambitious and warmly uplifting arena rock show here since Bruce Springsteen’s socially conscious appearances in 1981,” Hilburn says.

Rothmiller’s revelations were made in a deposition before the ACLU. He  said that his duties in the division included spying on the sex lives of two officials, one of whom was suspected of being gay and the other suspected of having an extramarital affair.

He also said that information on the officials was turned over to the division’s “two man ‘political team’ ” that gave weekly briefings to then-Police Chief Daryl F. Gates. The information was used to “influence” the officials, Rothmiller said, adding that this was an LAPD practice dating to the Chief William H. Parker era.

Rothmiller’s allegations provoked a denial from LAPD Cmdr. William Booth, who said “They are not a political spy team.” Booth also accused Rothmiller of attempting to “extort” the city into granting him a disability pension.

Rothmiller later wrote a book about his experiences, “L.A. Secret Police: Inside the LAPD Elite Spy Network.”

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1983, City Hall, Film, Hollywood, LAPD, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Music, Stage, Television and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to LAPD Spied on Mayor, Attorney General, Detective Says

  1. Anna Sklar says:

    WELL DUH!!!!

    On Fri, Aug 16, 2013 at 1:17 AM,


  2. Black James from Laguna says:

    Since police departments universally wield so much power, I think it can be inferred that this practice is also universal..


  3. aryedirect says:

    Cops spying on the Mayor? That certainly was … risky business.


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