By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
Fraind then called Gonzalez and asked him to order a police badge. Gonzalez claimed he told his boss, Chief Vivian Monroe, about this particular request. "I told her that he had no authority to have it, and basically she told me to order it, to make sure that he got a badge," he related. The badge arrived a few months later but Fraind never received it, according to Gonzalez. Fraind did have the cops issue him an official photo-identification card.
According to Gonzalez, on October 8, 1998, Fraind asked him to install a wiretap on the office phones of superintendent Roger Cuevas and school board chairman Solomon Stinson.
Gonzalez: "He seemed to be very concerned about land deals. He felt very uncomfortable and, as I perceived, of him being out there alone tomorrow, if there was to be a sort of a situation where he is caught in some sort of corruption, misappropriation of funds of purchasing land deals.... When I told him that he had called the wrong person, that I was not about to do any of that, he threatened me with dismissal again.... I will tell you that he was very clear about issues of land acquisition, because I got into it. “Why would you want to do this?' “Because I know there's things going on, and don't you realize that I'm responsible with the purchasing of land acquisitions and lands and there is a lot of things that are going on here with money and there's a lot of people involved and I'm not going to go down if something happens.'"
Gonzalez claimed that his refusal to acquiesce to Fraind's demands prompted school police to launch an investigation of his role in the twelve-year-old murder plot. (Last year the State Attorney's Office told New Times that, essentially, an oversight allowed Gonzalez to escape scrutiny for more than a decade. See "River of Sleaze," April 6, 2000.)
Internal politics, Gonzalez believed, was another reason his own police department began investigating his role in the murder plot. He told Bass and Miranda that Chief Monroe (who was demoted several months later following scandals documented by New Times) was afraid her bosses would eventually replace her with Gonzalez. In addition several police officers had met with school board members Manty Sabates Morse and Demetrio Perez in 1997 to protest Gonzalez's promotion to assistant chief. Their complaints centered on Gonzalez's close relations with one of the convicted River Cops, Osvaldo Coello, currently serving a 35-year sentence in federal prison. (During the school-police investigation, Monroe and Fraind approved expenses for two officers who traveled to Arizona for an interview with Coello about his old friend Pepe.)
Gonzalez said Fraind, over the next several months, began to harass him and threaten his job. At a January 1999 meeting with Fraind and Monroe, Fraind accused Gonzalez of leaking information to New Times about his purchase of a police radio.
Gonzalez: "He reminded me that the superintendent had the authority to restructure the department and remove me from the position and that I could not do a damn thing about it nor would Ms. Morse be able to help me. Again there is a correlation where he strongly feels that there is some sort of a relationship between me and Manty Morse and there is none.... And I immediately advised him that I had not spoken to anyone from New Times, nor did I leak any information to anyone.... I reminded him that he directed me in the past to do things for him ... and that I had not made any comments to anyone concerning his requests, including the issue of the [police] radio in question. Obviously he changed the tune of the conversation and he went on and started patting me on the back and saying, “Okay, Pepe, everything is okay. I just want you to be up-front,' because he did not want me to talk about the [rest of the] police equipment in the presence of Chief Monroe."
Fraind's speculations about Gonzalez's allies in the administration and on the school board continued in the early months of 1999. Gonzalez related one specific conversation he had with Fraind in mid-February.
Gonzalez: "[Fraind] made the following statements: “The chair, Solomon Stinson, chairman of the school board, and the superintendent, are very upset with you regarding your association with [board member Manty Sabates] Morse. A restructure is imminent, because I guarantee that you will lose your job as an assistant chief as a result of a restructure. That's the way we get rid of people in the school system.'
"He stated that I needed to watch out who I am with. And then said, “I mean the Rancha Luna, Hispanic clique. Don't you know that everybody downtown knows about you, Delio Diaz, Nelson Diaz, and the Hispanic clique? And I assure you that if I make superintendent of schools, the first thing in my agenda will be to immediately break the Hispanic clique by firing all of you. Oh, by the way, you can tell that bitch, Manty, she can write all the memos she wants, because at the end of the day, she's a no-good, fucking-bitch politician. I am going to wipe my ass with her memos, that fucking bitch. I am going to make her life so fucking miserable that she will be kissing my ass by the time everything is over. Everybody hates her around here. Can't you, Morse, and your Hispanic fucking buddies see that I am second in command and, when Roger leaves, I am taking over this fucking place, and then I am going to deal with you and your fucking friends. That bitch, Manty, is lucky that Bush gave her husband a fucking job. He's also a no good piece of shit."