Inglewood residents are demanding answers and the Mayor continues to deflect as to how the Inglewood Police Chief earned an unauthorized bonus to the tune of $60,000 per YEAR. A recent news article reveals the relationship between Mayor James Butts and Chief Mark Fronterotta being that Butts was his former supervisor when he was with IPD and residents fear the bonus reflects a “kickback” for the Chief’s lack of presence in the city and his becoming chief without being the best candidate for the job.
Residents do not dispute Chief Fronterotta has been a long time city employee but does question why he:
- Never appears at city council meetings to discuss the uptick in crime and murders that are well documented by residents on social media;
- Why Mayor Butts has assumed the role of city spokesperson and police chief;
- Why Chief Fronterotta rarely if at all is seen in public outside of promotional events; and
- Whether or not Chief Fronterotta is contemplating a medical retirement due to neck surgery leaving his right arm severely incapacitated.
In the Mayor’s own words, he deflects from answering how and why the Chief should earn $60k a year, just as he tried to deflect from his alleged girlfriend earning $312k as his “executive assistant”.
His standard modus operandi is to pivot to his standard stadium rhetoric, to diminish negative articles written about him and city hall employees and the residents are tired of it. The mayor also eludes to the Chief “earning” the bonus due to the recent take down of Legends Crips that occurred AFTER the bonuses were paid out. The mayor and city manager Artie Field have ZERO comment on who authorized payroll to issue the bonuses without council approval.
Mayor Butts and Chief Fronterotta’s credibility and integrity are diminishing by the day.
From the Mayor’s Facebook page:
James T. Butts The following information was provided to the Breeze, but the writers and editors didn’t use it in its entirety because it didn’t work for their story. The Chief received two years of bonuses (one retroactive) in a single year, inflating his salary so that the story could be written that his pay exceeds that of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Torrance and the Sheriff on an annual basis. It does not. The year quoted was an anomaly. When I was elected Mayor, my priority was public safety in Inglewood. Without a safe city, we could not attract the investment we needed to escape the shadow of bankruptcy and to provide quality services for our residents. Today, crime is down about 70% from its peak in 1981 and our city is thriving. Our residents are well aware that public safety is our biggest expense in the City—as it should be. During the years Chief Fronterotta has led the IPD, the City has experienced the longest consecutive streak of the lowest crime totals in the history of Inglewood. The reporter asked this question regarding what the Chief had accomplished in 2016 & 2017 to merit a bonus. The Chief engaged in a two-year joint task force with the FBI that resulted in indictments by a Federal Grand Jury for 15 “Legends” Crips for charges that can result in 20 year+ sentences. This operation has dismantled the leadership/command structure of the Legends Crips. The Chief has improved the Homicide Clearance Rate to 80%, one of the highest closure rates in the nation. An average clearance rate is 64%. In 2010, (the year before I took office), the clearance rate was 27% . When Chief Fronterotta was appointed the rate was 29%. This is superlative performance. The Chief’s performance to date far exceeds that of other chiefs in the County. As such he has received the top Performance Bonus each year. All of the above was not noted in the article.
As a previous Chief of Police and top administrator of 3 police departments, I know what is needed to attract and, more importantly, retain, good officers and strong leadership. Our Chief has been with the Inglewood Police Department for 37 years. He, like all of our officers, receives a longevity bonus for service to our community. The longevity incentive is based upon a percentage of base salary multiplied by years of service. It is non-discretionary.
I think its relevant to note that when I was Chief in the City or Santa Monica, in 2006 (12 years ago), my base salary was higher than our Chief’s base salary is today. His pay and benefits put him on par with other police chiefs of cities of similar size and crime control profiles in our region. (His base salary is far less). He is paid fairly in total compensation in comparison with the Chiefs from Santa Monica (smaller geographically and smaller population); Torrance, Beverly Hills (1/3 the population/1/2 the geographic size). His work speaks for itself and he has earned the salary he is paid. Finally, look at the way they write the title: “Inglewood Scrambles to Justify Paying Its Chief…..” I wrote this 5 minutes. The City Manager reviewed the situation and responded; thoughtfully and professionally. How would they have any sense of the thought process; let alone whether someone “Scrambled” when the response was by email. Wake up to what’s happening Inglewood. The word was meant to engender a perception of panic, deception, and defensiveness. The could just as easily have written; “Inglewood Promptly and Comprehensively Responds to Yet another Hit Piece”