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Palm Springs Chief Resigns After Apologizing For Anti-Gay Remarks

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Palm Springs Police Chief David G. Dominguez (credit: palmsprings-ca.gov)

Palm Springs Police Chief David G. Dominguez (credit: palmsprings-ca.gov)

PALM SPRINGS (CBS) — Embattled Police Chief David Dominguez, who apologized for insensitive remarks made during a sting operation that targeted gay men, announced his resignation Wednesday.

“After careful consideration of the events surrounding the Warm Sands undercover operation, I believe this decision is in the best interest of my family, the city and the Police Department,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez has been Palm Springs police chief for nearly three years.

Dominguez came under fire after a June 2009 operation in the Warm Sands neighborhood. The sting, which netted 19 arrests, was done in response to what police said were complaints about drug use, public sex and prostitution in Warm Sands. However, it drew complaints that police were targeting gay men unfairly.

During a pretrial hearing, one defendant said a police officer could be heard using a gay slur on a video recording in an undercover vehicle. An attorney for some of those arrested said Dominguez was in that particular car.

The lawyer lodged a complaint, alleging Dominguez disparaged the arrestees to his officers.

“What a bunch of filthy mother (expletive),” Dominguez allegedly said. “You guys should get paid extra for this.”

Dominguez apologized in December.

“An inappropriate comment made by me did not display the utmost professional conduct expected from the chief of police and I sincerely apologize to the community at large,” Dominguez said.

Capt. Al Franz will take over as interim chief, according to the city. Franz has been a captain since 2007 and has been with the department since 1987.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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