Former Atascadero police chief steps in for King City
February 28, 2014
Dennis Hegwood, the former Atascadero police chief who was terminated shortly after being cleared of rape charges, took the helm of the King City Police Department as interim chief late Wednesday.
King City Attorney Roy Hanley said that Hegwood, who Hanley worked with in Atascadero, is the right man for the job. Hanley said that the rape allegations that plagued Hegwood were fueled by closed-minded reactions to a biracial sexual relationship.
In 2004, a woman claimed Hegwood had raped her but later said the sex was consensual. Even so, city officials found fault with Hegwood having sex with a business acquaintance’s wife while on city time.
After first asking him to stay, city officials determined Hegwood should resign because ‘he had lost his moral authority,” and agreed to support Hegwood’s plan to apply for industrial disability, according to the resignation agreement. Atascadero also agreed to give Hegwood a total payout for health benefits, sick and vacation leave of $64,650.
On Tuesday, six King City police officers, including the former and acting chiefs of police, were arrested on felony charges including conspiracy, embezzlement and bribery. The brother of the acting chief was also arrested in the scheme which involved impounding the cars of mostly unlicensed drivers, then selling them when the cars’ owners were unable to pay towing and storage fees.
The Monterey County District Attorney’s Office is continuing to investigate allegations of corruption. In addition, the department is currently under an FBI investigation after several thousand dollars that officers seized from bank robbers went missing.
Hanley suggested King City hire Hegwood, who assisted over the past year in an internal affairs investigation into King’s City’s police department.