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DHSPD Chief Mondary tenders resignation

Desert Hot Springs Police Department Chief Dale Mondary has tendered his resignation.

The announcement was Friday morning in a news conference held in the Desert Hot Springs City Council chambers following a closed session meeting.

The resignation will go into effect at 6 PM.

Interim Chief Henson will remain the Desert Hot Springs Police Department Chief of Police for the foreseeable future, according to Dora Wilms, assistant to the city manager and public information for Desert Hot Springs. The city does not intend to open outside recruitment into filling the role.

Mondary sent in his letter of resignation in on May 21. Mondary wanted the letter to be publicly read to the community on Friday.

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The City Council voted unanimously in a 5-0 vote to accept Mondary’s resignation.

Mondary was placed on administrative leave on April 29 while the city investigates sexually suggestive messages allegedly sent by him. A third party firm out of Riverside is conducting the investigation, there is currently no timeline for its completion.

In Mondary’s resignation, he refers to “consensual private text messages” between him and another woman two years ago, which he wished could have been handled privately.

The investigation into allegations against Mondary is still ongoing, and the Chief mentions in his resignation letter that he has not publicly commented on said allegations because he does not want to jeopardize the city’s investigation.

In a Facebook post Friday morning, Chief Mondary wrote: “I have much love and respect for the City and will miss you all. I promise I will come visit. I am just down the road.”

Read Chief Mondary’s full resignation letter below:

May 21, 2019

To the Council Members, City Manager, and Citizens of of Desert Hot Springs:

I tender my resignation as the Chief of Police effective May 24, 2019 at 6:00 pm. This decision does not come without a heavy heart and many hours in thought, Prayer, and Spiritual counsel. Although I consider myself a fighter, and this is not the way I envisioned to end my 37-year law enforcement career, I believe my resignation in the best interest of the City and my family.

My decision is in light of the recent revelation of a series of consensual private text messages I participated in one evening with an adult female 2 years ago. Although I consider this a personal matter and wish it could have been handled privately, I recognize this situation has caused great harm and embarrassment to my family, the department, and the community of Desert Hot Springs. My priority at this time is to heal my relationship with my wife Danette and my children.

While I am deeply remorseful for the actions I admitted above, I am proud of my accomplishments as the Chief of Police. I implemented community outreach programs and reduced the crime rate 30% during my tenure. In working with the City Manager and City Council I created a succession plan within the Department with the addition of the Deputy Chief Position and another Commander position that will allow the Department to continue to be successful.

I will continue to cooperate with the City related to the investigation of the text messages reported in social and local media. The information supplied to these outlets is based on selective bits of communication with missing facts. It has been difficult for me not to make comments during this time as I would like the city and community to be informed of the entire story and for full truth to be known. However, in order not to compromise the integrity of the process it is imperative that I not comment further on the allegations at this time. I am confident that the investigation will reveal the full breadth of this situation.

I apologize to the entire City for my conduct, but most notable, the City Manager, Mayor, City Council and the men and women of the Police Department whom I have disappointed. I appreciate all the support and prayers I have received. The City of Desert Hot Springs is an extraordinary City and will always have a special place in my heart. I pray I am remembered for the good things I have done for the City and this incident does not overshadow our successes.

Lastly, I want it to be known I am resigning on my own accord and without request or pressure from the City Council, or City Manager.

Dale Mondary

The investigation into allegations against Mondary is still ongoing, and the Chief mentions in his resignation letter that he has not publicly commented on said allegations because he does not want to jeopardize the city’s investigation.

“That’s what these investigations allow us to do, is to look at situations as they come through,” Wilms said in April. “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.”

The community has expressed mixed emotions on the issue, with some expressing disappointment in the chief, while others believe it’s an issue that should remain private. The same week Mondary’s suspension was announced, supporters held a vigil outside DHSPD headquarters.

News Channel 3’s Jake Ingrassia spoke to a friend of the woman on the other end of the messages, who said this had been going since September 2017 when the accuser reached out to Mondary to ask for him to sponsor her in the police academy.

The friend said Mondary started messaging the woman on Facebook and the messages soon turned “dirty.”

We have reached out to Mondary multiple times since April, but he has not responded back.

Mondary became DHSPD Chief in January 2015 after working with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department for 24 years. Mondary’s employment agreement, signed in June 2016, it reads, “an employee may be put on administrative leave at any time for any reason during the term agreement at the direction of the city manager.”

KESQ News Team

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