The chief of police at the nation’s busiest container port was indicted Thursday on federal corruption charges that accuse him of hiding his business links to a software developer he was helping win a contract at the port.
Ronald Jerome Boyd — the chief of police at the Port of Los Angeles for more than a decade — faces charges of wire fraud, making false statements to federal agents and tax evasion, according to the 16-count indictment.
The charging document alleges that Boyd defrauded the city “by means of bribery and kickbacks” and provided confidential information about the port to the software vendor.
Boyd, 57, is accused of helping the software developer obtain a contract with the city of Los Angeles while simultaneously forming a joint venture with the company that he failed to disclose and later lied about in an interview with federal agents.
The charges revolve around a video messaging application called PortWatch, which was designed to help port workers, city officials and San Pedro residents communicate about port activities.
The indictment alleges that Boyd helped the company tailor its responses to the Port of Los Angeles’ contract proposals, edited the company’s contract with the port so that he, as police chief, would be responsible for overseeing the progress and development of the application and met with then-Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich and then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa regarding PortWatch’s bid.
Boyd never told city and port officials that he had an agreement with the same company to receive a share of revenue from a similar app, MetroWatch, that was in development, according to the indictment. An unidentified company executive made it clear to Boyd that the MetroWatch partnership depended on the company being awarded the PortWatch contract by the city, the document alleges.
Boyd and the company planned to market and sell MetroWatch to law enforcement agencies across the country, according to the indictment.
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SOURCE: LA Times, Matt Hamilton