Eric Eccles' statement

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Former Officer Eric Eccles, who lost his appeal to reverse his firing from the Manhattan Beach Police Department for his role in a 2010 alcohol-related off-duty hit-and-run crash, provided this statement Wednesday to the Daily Breeze: “The only judgment of significance came long ago with the District Attorney’s Offices’ very public review of this case, which completely absolved me of allegations of misconduct and readily acknowledged I had no control of Officer Hatten’s actions before, during, or after the incident. Two separate judges in E.D.D. Court echoed that sentiment and twice ruled in my favor. My name has already been cleared, multiple times, on levels far more meaningful than department policies manipulated by biased managers and rubber-stamped labor hearings. A determined employer ignored cumulative exoneration, to hold me vicariously liable for another man’s mistakes. It is beyond absurd to make me (and Thompson) accountable for Hatten’s independent decisions, especially while off-duty. If you cut through the barrage of misleading accusations, passed off as evidence, this underwhelming story becomes acutely more transparent: A very small man, with a very big Napoleonic Complex, took a chance to rid himself of an outspoken critic when the opportunity came along. Period. Ex-Chief Uyeda’s ego fueled this crusade, making witnesses, whom he personally hated, as culpable as the offender. He transferred blame and responsibility with impunity, to justify a shameful agenda. In the end, this verdict is completely irrelevant. Win or lose, I had no intention of ever going back to that agency. The Manhattan Beach Pretenders Department got 14 more years of my life than they should have. Not working there bothers me as much as not having cancer.”

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