It is time for an independent investigation into Los Angeles World Airports’ (LAWA) Law Enforcement and Homeland Security Deputy Executive Director (DED) David L. Maggard Jr.’s tenure at LAX.
Mayor Eric Garcetti has made sweeping pronouncements about the City of Los Angeles’ zero tolerance for racism and gender discrimination, yet he remains silent on DED Maggard.
Mayor Garcetti’s appointees to the LAWA’s Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) chose to review employment issues related to DED Maggard in a closed session meeting on July 16. While they “were not at liberty to discuss” how they came to the conclusion after reviewing nine individual lawsuits filed against Maggard, they stated there is “no confirmation of a pattern of practice of racial inequity discrimination or improper management.”
DED Maggard has been at LAWA since 2015. It is unprecedented that a person in his position of great authority has had so many legal filings against them, and separately a multitude of complaints that focus on race, gender and even Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) offenses. Yet DED Maggard still gets promoted.
Let’s make no mistake, DED Maggard retains tremendous power at the nation’s second-busiest airport. His work includes supervisory authority over 1,200 civilian and sworn personnel at LAWA, including airport police, a police department that is two to five times larger than the previous forces on which he served.
That also means that his replacement as chief (as a result of DED Maggard’s latest promotion) reports to him. The chief has immersed himself into understanding the specialized nature of airport policing. He has substantially improved morale at a time when being a police officer in this country has never been under such scrutiny, and when being a minority police officer has never been so complicated.
Since Mayor Garcetti has been silent on the race, gender and retaliatory issues relating to DED Maggard, and since the BOAC chose to meet in private and not disclose the basis for a conclusion that nine lawsuits on race, gender, retaliation and ADA violations over a five-year period do not “confirm a pattern of practice” by Maggard, an independent, transparent investigation should be undertaken.
“It is time for someone in power to explain how DED Maggard still has the ability to continue his pattern of practices of discrimination at LAX. If nine lawsuits in two years are not a pattern, please explain what is then,” LAAPOA President Marshall E. McClain says. “We are asking for no more closed sessions by BOAC regarding DED Maggard. Many of us want to weigh in and we are shut out. How can you fully review the issues without conversing directly with the aggrieved parties? Given the failure by Mayor Garcetti and the BOAC to be forthcoming in how they reached the assessment that DED Maggard’s actions are not a discriminatory pattern, it is time that an independent party be brought in to investigate. LAAPOA calls for this next step.”