Photo of LAPD HQ: Paul Clinton

Photo of LAPD HQ: Paul Clinton

Police Chief Charlie Beck has defended his decision to overrule a disciplinary board’s recommendation to fire a police officer with close family ties to the department, denying favoritism played a role in his determination, reports the Los Angeles Daily News.

A Los Angeles Police Department disciplinary board found that Officer Shaun Hillman should be terminated for lack of integrity, stemming from an investigation into an off-duty incident at a Riverside County bar. Hillman was caught on tape using a racial slur during a late-night altercation in Norco but later denied it to LAPD investigators. The board advised that he be fired for lying in the investigation, not for the fight itself.

Beck overruled the board’s decision, something he has done just twice in his term as the city’s top cop, and handed down a 65-day suspension instead.

Hillman’s father is a retired LAPD officer, and his uncle is former Deputy Chief Michael Hillman, a popular commanding officer who moved up through the ranks at the same time as Beck, which aroused speculation that the chief’s decision was unfair.