John Hartley regularly exhibited erratic behavior during his one term on the San Diego City Council two decades ago, making his office a chaotic, sometimes unbearable place to work, say some of his former staffers.
And though they do not remember Hartley engaging in any lewd conduct during his term, which ran from 1989 to 1993, the former staffers said they were not necessarily shocked after reading about his arrest Thursday in Kensington on charges of indecent exposure.
San Diego police arrested Hartley, 65, on Thursday afternoon after a Kensington resident reported that he was urinating into a cup and masturbating in his truck that was parked in the 4600 block of Vista Street. Hartley was booked on one count of indecent exposure and one count of soliciting a lewd act.
Now let the spin begin:
"[The accusations] are totally out of character, and we hope his supporters will give him the presumption of innocence," said Larry Remer, a longtime political consultant who is running Hartley’s campaign. Hartley has offered no further comment or explanation for the arrest.
One group that is waiting for Hartley's side of the story is his biggest endorsement:
I just got off the phone with Bill Nemec, president of the Police Officers Association.
Nemec said the union hasn't decided yet whether it's going to withdraw its endorsement of John Hartley, who was arrested last week on suspicion of indecent exposure. He said the union has contacted Hartley and is waiting for a response from the District 3 City Council candidate before it makes any decision.
"We're waiting to hear from either the candidate or his representative regarding the incident, but we've heard the police report isn't too flattering," Nemec said.
No indication of Hartley's political affiliation...but c'mon. He's endorsed by the Sierra Club; you can probably guess.
"My top priority will be to restore neighborhood policing, put more cops on the streets and make our neighborhoods safer
from perverts like me."
Of course Hartley can't take the blame for this. If only he had a mother as understanding as this.
What? Is this some sort of theme this week?