Friday, February 5, 2016

Ex Port of LA Police Chief Pleads Guilty

By Mark Edward Nero

Former Port of Los Angeles Police Chief Ronald Boyd faces up to 11 years in federal prison after pleading guilty Feb. 3 to charges of tax evasion and lying to FBI agents who were conducting a bribery investigation.

Boyd, 58, submitted his plea the day he was scheduled to go to trial on a 16-count grand jury indictment.

Although he had told FBI agents he had no financial interest in a company developing a smartphone app called Portwatch, to allow people to report criminal activities at the port, the truth was that he actually had 13.3 percent interest in it, according to the US Attorney’s Office.

He was given a stake in the company, according to the 16 count indictment against him, by promising that the Portwatch contract would be awarded to a company he set up in 2011 with two partners, BDB Digital Communications.

The parties involved with BDB also allegedly intended to generate revenues by marketing and selling a similar app – called Metrowatch – to other government agencies.

Boyd had been named the port’s police chief in January 2015, three months before being indicted by a federal grand jury.

He was placed on administrative leave by the port after being indicted, and his duties were assumed by Deputy Port Police Chief Thomas Gazsi.

A sentencing hearing for Boyd is scheduled for July 25.