On Monday, city officials announced that Desert Hot Springs Police Chief Dale Mondary was placed on paid administrative leave while the city conducts an investigation into “confidential allegations.”
“He’s on paid administrative leave. That doesn’t say one way or another what the outcome of the investigation is at this point. We’re just looking at the allegations determining what is true what is false,” said Doria Wilms, public information officer and assistant to the city manager for Desert Hot Springs.
Deputy Chief Jim Henson will serve as the interim Chief of Police while the investigation is conducted.
The announcement came hours after News Channel 3 started asking questions relating to sexually suggestive communications on social media, allegedly made by Chief Mondary.
A friend of the woman on the other end of the messages said this all started in Sep. 2017 when that friend asked Mondary for a letter of recommendation to join the police academy.
“She was interested in becoming a police officer and she had reached out to the police chief asking for him to sponsor her in the police academy,” the friend, who wanted to stay anonymous, said.
The friend revealed the woman felt uncomfortable during the meeting.
“She met with him at Starbucks and she said the whole time he was staring at her breasts and it felt really uncomfortable. It was inappropriate,” the friend said.
The friend said Mondary started messaging the woman on Facebook, but the messages turned “dirty.”
In screenshots of the conversation, Mondary appeared to describe a sexual encounter in which he unbuttons her shirt. At one point he allegedly wrote, “I tend to get carried away from time to time.”
“That is him using his badge as persuading her to have these dirty conversations with him and talking sexually through messenger,” the friend said. She said while the woman consented at first, she later asked Mondary to stop and eventually blocked him.
New screenshots obtained exclusively by News Channel 3 allegedly show woman writing, “the professional route is the best way to go from here.” Mondary appearing to agree, saying he’s embarrassed.
In another previously unseen screenshot, the woman says was sent on Monday morning, after the other messages were made public, Mondary appears to invite the woman to his office to pick up that promised letter of recommendation, nearly two years later.
She replies, “No, it’s fine.”
“Once these go public obviously he knows who he had sent those messages to and he reached out to her inviting her to his office,” the friend said. ” She believes that the reason he said that was to lure her into his office to be able to talk to her privately.”
“I hope she gets justice. I hope that she feels in the end that she made the right decision going public. I hope she doesn’t have any regrets and I hope for her safety,” the friend said.
At this time, there is no official confirmation that the person exchanging messages with this woman is actually Mondary.
We reached out to Mondary again today but we weren’t able to reach him.
Stay with News Channel 3 for any updates.