Police Chief on Hot Seat

A mini-war of words erupted over the character of Santa Barbara Police Chief Cam Sanchez during the public comment period prior to the March 17 Santa Barbara City Council meeting. Wayne Scoles recited most of an article the Santa Barbara News-Press declined to publish this past week by former columnist Robert “The Investigator” Eringer. The article described the chief as a corrupt bully and real-estate sharpie. Scoles was recently found not guilty of misdemeanor charges of threatening the chief during a parking lot argument last year near Shoreline Park. Scoles has since filed five administrative complaints against City Hall and had vowed to sue for false imprisonment and violation of his civil rights. Joining Scoles in condemning the chief was longtime school board activist Kate Smith. Coming to Sanchez’s rescue was Zona Seca executive Frank Banales, who praised the chief’s efforts to reach out to teens at risk of falling into gang life, as well as three Santa Barbara High School students, who praised Sanchez’s efforts to establish a mentor program there. Sanchez has made no comment on the Scoles trial or Eringer article.

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