City Council candidate John Harabedian recently mailed campaign material to Sierra Madre residents that included a photograph of him conversing with the President and Vice President of the Sierra Madre Police Officers Association: Police Officer Ed Delcoure and Corporal Esther Doyle, respectively.
John Crawford of the Sierra Madre Tattler blog called the postcard into question today, alleging that Delcoure and Doyle "appear to be wearing their police uniforms" in the photo and could be in violation of a state code that prohibits on-duty or uniformed officers from engaging in political activity. The code can be read here under section 3302 (a).
However, Harabedian refutes Crawford's claim, saying that the photo is legal, that Delcoure and Doyle are not in their uniforms and were not on-duty when it was taken.
"This story is a complete farce, like most on the Tattler," said Harabedian.
"Neither of the police officers were on duty or in uniform," said Harabedian. "They’re both complying with the law; neither of them violated the law in either way."
Harabedian said that Delcoure and Doyle are simply wearing dark shirts and pants. "They're not wearing badges, patches or stripes," said Harabedian.
"They were very careful not to wear their SMPD-issued uniform," he said, adding that the two were aware they were posing for campaign mailer material.
The photo in question is pictured above. We've also included a few recent photos of SMPD officers in uniform.
Delcoure and Doyle were not available for comment at the Sierra Madre Police Station today.
However, Sierra Madre's Public Information Officer Elisa Weaver said that the City is reviewing the photo.
"We are aware of the situation and we're looking into it," said Weaver, adding that she has seen the image.
Blog Diverting Attention From Real Issues
Harabedian said that the recent blog entry on the Sierra Madre Tattler detracts from the real election issues.
"This is a prime example of individuals, specifically certain blogs in town, focusing on issues that are not issues in this election, rather than focusing on candidates for their ideas and what they bring to the table," said Harabedian.
"I think it's an example of my campaign being attacked from the flank instead of head-on."
Tell us: What do you think of the photo?