“Generally the bonds that are created in law enforcement dominate your social life also,” this now retired Riverside County Sheriff’s employee, we’ll call Randy, says the bonds among in the department run deep,
“It’s a brotherhood.”
But he says a culture of politics first has been impeding with their job to protect and serve, “When politics conflicts with that goal then that is to detriment of every cop everywhere but particularly the people that work for the Riverside County Sheriff’s.
He says he first noticed the culture of politics and cover ups when several RSO promotional tests for investigator and lieutenant were compromised, “Cheating on the test and instead of throwing out that test and disciplining the people that were involved in the cheating it was all pretty much covered up.”
Randy says looking into that led him to a more serious cover up, “There were multiple allegations of molestation with the kids,” that involved an investigator he once admired, Kevin Duffy. “Kevin was a long time Hemet investigator. He and I worked on several homicides together, we developed a close friendship.”
Duffy was popular and beloved in the community and received many awards for his work with children. “He was very involved in youth community and he was in the Sheriff’s outreach to at risk children.”
Randy says those were the very children Duffy preyed on, “there were seven allegations that had been confirmed at the time when he was brought in for his interview.”
He says at that interview, Duffy was confronted with a mountain of evidence and given a lie detector test, then instead of taking him into custody, Randy says they did something out of the ordinary, “and what was unusual was at the end of that interview they let him go home. The thinking in letting him go home, not booking him, and letting him go home, is that he would do what as cops we would call, do the right thing.”
Then 10 days later.
“He went to the Motel 6 and shot himself in the head,” says Randy.
The case or allegations never came to light. In fact news of his death at the time did say he was being investigated, but did not say why. Obituaries popped up with Duffy’s name praising him as a good man who helped kids. His alleged victims, erased from history.
“We all thought it was going to be a tsunami for the department and it just went away.” That’s what bothers Randy, “if he was just a citizen, there probably would have been a notice in the paper, ‘hey anybody that has any information on this please notify the sheriff’s department if you had contact if you think you might have been a victim,’ that’s how you investigate one of these things is you start following up on everybody who that predator was in a position to have victimized.”
We obtained the coroner’s report signed by Sheriff Stan Sniff. It says on January 12, 2009 Duffy was walked off the job for misconduct with a minor, it also says three days later he was brought to take a polygraph test and when he got home hours later, it says his wife noticed rope marks around his neck that looked like he tried to hang himself, and the next day a friend found him trying to commit suicide with carbon monoxide in his car.
So who made the decision to send Duffy home?
“If I were to have to put money on it, it came from the top, it came from the Sheriff.”
…says Randy, adding that a decision of that importance could not have been made by a low level staffer.
We requested an interview with Sheriff Stan Sniff and documents from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department about this case. The Sheriff’s Department media information bureau sent us an email saying they were reviewing our request and would look into Sheriff Sniff’s availability for an interview. We also requested documents from the Riverside County District Attorney’s Mike Hestrin’s office regarding this case. They sent us back a letter stating the records were exempt from the California Public Records Act.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department did issue the following statement: Read Here
Randy says the majority of those who wear the RSO badge are good but the organization is not what it used to be. “You’ve got this whole organization now where everybody spends all day covering their rear end instead of being cops and doing the job. If there is something that is hurting the department, hurting its reputation, threatening the integrity of the department, then it needs to be weeded out.”
Randy says if the department had done things differently, Duffy would be in prison, his alleged victims would have all been found and received the support they needed. “There’s potential for hundreds of victims.”
If you or anyone you know has any information about this case, you are urged to call the hotline set up by get bit investigations at 833-44-child.