The City of Santa Barbara finally broke its silence Tuesday on freelance journalist Peter Lance’s 10-part News-Press series by alluding to plans to investigate Lance’s allegations against police officer Kasi Beutel.
“It is the duty of the City Administrator, City Attorney, and Chief of Police to review these allegations, and if necessary, take appropriate action to initiate discipline, outside investigations, etc.,” wrote Mayor Helene Schneider and City Administrator Jim Armstrong in an emailed statement. “These officials take this responsibility seriously and will carefully review the allegations and take appropriate action, if it is merited by the facts.”
The city also explained its previous silence on Lance’s articles, saying that officials have declined to comment publicly on the allegations “due to the number of criminal actions in which Officer Beutel was the arresting officer or involved in the arrest.” Schneider and Armstrong also cited their legal obligation to “respect police officers’ personnel and privacy rights.”
In his series, Lance — who was arrested by Beutel on suspicion of DUI this past New Year’s Day — accused Beutel of perjury, forgery, fraud, and misconduct in pursuing her DUI arrests. Lance is awaiting trial for his arrest.