WESTMORLAND, Calif. - Westmorland Police Officer Luis Aguilar said on Friday that there’s more to the department than meets the eye, during an exclusive interview with us. He said there are various irregularities and possibly misappropriation of funds.
“We were shown a spreadsheet that showed the last five years of overtime, how much everybody has made. And the difference between both Beltrans and the rest of the officers was ridiculous,” Aguilar said.
Aguilar said Chief Fred Beltran’s son, Sergeant Beltran, Jr., has received favoritism over the other officers.
“At approximately 93 and 94,000 dollars of overtime that they made,” Aguilar said.
This compared to 23,000 dollars that other officers made in the past five years, funds that came from a federal grant for special operations.
“It’s just like they were just writing hours on their time sheet that they weren’t even working,” Aguilar said.
Aguilar claims paperwork was changed to deny officers a raise. He showed us a video clip on his cellphone of the alleged paperwork that was changed.
The Westmorland Police Officers Association took action.
“We did a vote of no-confidence on both he and his son, Sgt. Beltran,” Aguilar explained.
Aguilar said the chief then tried to coach him before a meeting with city attorney over the alleged irregularities.
“He pulls out a paper, basically a script of questions that I might be asked and how he wanted me to answer them,” Aguilar said.
Mrs. Maribel Aguilar said city officials promised an investigation but nothing has happened. Only that the chief is retiring.
“These accusations have been addressed several times, not the first time, not the second time,” Mrs. Aguilar said.
The Aguilars believe there’s a cover-up to prevent a smear on the city.
“I believe there is,” Aguilar said.
They said they have no choice but to contact federal authorities.
“I think the public needs to know. I think the government needs to know. We are going to contact the proper authorities to come in and do what they have to do,” Aguilar said.
“I am planning to contact the FBI. Justice needs to be made,” Mrs. Aguilar concluded.
Throughout this story's coverage, which began last week with the possibility of the Sheriff's Office taking over the police department, we have reached out to the Westmorland City Council and Chief Beltran. Nobody has returned our calls and Chief Beltran told us he had no comment.