An aide to state Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris and two others are accused of operating a rogue police force that claimed to exist for more than 3,000 years and have jurisdiction in 33 states and Mexico, authorities said Tuesday. Brandon Kiel, David Henry and Tonette Hayes were arrested last week on suspicion of impersonating a police officer through their roles in the Masonic Fraternal Police Department, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Kiel, 31, has worked as the deputy director of community affairs at the California Department of Justice. An office spokesman declined to comment on the criminal investigation but said Kiel is on administrative leave.
Brandon Kiel’s official job title is Information Officer I, Specialist, making him a low-level aide. He was hired on July 24, 2013 and his current salary rate is $5,618 monthly, according to John Hill, a spokesman for the state controller’s office.
The arrest of Kiel is a potential embarrassment to Harris, a U.S. Senate candidate who often refers to herself as California’s “top cop.” But given Kiel’s junior role on her staff, his arrest is unlikely to inflict serious political damage on Harris. Harris, a Democrat, is a former San Francisco district attorney who was reelected as attorney general in November.
But only a potential embarrassment, mind you, since California Democrats — especially Harris, who is widely view in the Golden State as the female Barack Obama and probably the state’s next governor after Jerry Brown finally keels over — can do just about anything short of actual gun-running and get away with it.
A website identifying itself as the police force’s official site describes what makes the group unique: “When asked what is the difference between the Masonic Fraternal Police Department and other Police Departments the answer is simple for us. We were here first!” The website adds: “We are born into this Organization our bloodlines go deeper then an application. This is more then a job it is an obligation.”
Following an investigation, officials said, sheriff’s investigators searched two sites in Santa Clarita and found badges, weapons, uniforms and law enforcement paraphernalia.
Photos of the alleged perps at the link.