The arrest of a city employee on charges of child molestation has prompted accusations officials knew about the situation for years and did nothing to protect local youth.

Eric Uller, Principal Technology Analyst with the city’s information technology department was arrested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) on Thursday, Oct. 18. on charges that translate to lewd and lascivious acts on a minor ages fourteen (14) or fifteen (15) years old. Uller is accused of four counts related to his volunteer time with the Police Activities League (PAL).

Uller is the second individual associated with the organization accused of improper contact with a child following the arrest of Don Condon in 2014.

School Board member Oscar de la Torre runs the Pico Youth and Family Center. He said Pico residents have talked to him about their experiences with Uller and Condon.

“I have talked to people who have alleged that they were also victimized by Eric Uller and I have been contacted by a parent who has alleged that she complained about Don Condon in 2013,” he said. “The rumors about Eric Uller were common knowledge amongst young Latino men in the Pico neighborhood since at least 1995.”

Within 24 hours of the story publishing, several individuals also contacted the Daily Press alleging officials had prior knowledge of Uller’s behavior.

City officials released a second statement on the subject Friday.

“Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by this deeply troubling situation. We again encourage anyone who has information about Eric Uller’s conduct, or other information relevant to its investigation to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), Special Victims Bureau toll-free tip line at (877) 710-5273 or by email at specialvictimsbureau@lasd.org. The City will continue to fully cooperate with the Sheriff’s Department as its investigation continues,” it said.

“The City is aware of the additional allegations that the City was aware of Mr. Uller’s conduct and did nothing to address it. The City is in the process of retaining outside counsel to conduct a comprehensive investigation of these allegations. The City is committed to transparency and accountability. The City will take all steps to protect youth participants in all City programs, and to determine whether there have been any past failings to live up to this commitment.”

According to de la Torre, the situation in Santa Monica could mirror the allegations that have surfaced with the Catholic Church, USC, Penn State or Larry Nassur. He said individuals within those organizations chose to look the other way and protect their positions of power when they should have been protecting children.

“There are high ranking members of law enforcement that were fully aware about the allegations related to Eric Uller,” said de la Torre.

Uller is being held in the Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles on $2 million bail and is expected to have his first court hearing on Monday.

editor@smdp.com

Editor’s note:  this story was first published on Oct. 20 at 12:22 PM and is being updated as additional information becomes available

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2 Comments

  1. Numerous people brought up the issue of child mistreatment at PAL in 2015 – especially as it was in stark contradiction with city council decisions to defund the PYFC, even after hundreds marched to city hall and testified that PYFC “saved lives” and provided arts/culture outlets, needed resources and safe space. In contradictory fashion, the city council voted to defund PYFC and at the same meeting give PAL, which at the time faced the first molestation charges, over a MILLION dollars. The outcry was stifled by city officials (Kevin McKewon tried to shut my microphone when I spoke at the meeting) and local papers remained quiet. Better late than never, I guess. The city needs to come clean. Pico Neighborhood youth and leaders have been given a raw deal by this city. City hall needs to reconcile themselves with these groups.

  2. Really, of all people, Oscar De La Torre alleging a cover up by the administration of the police department?! By no means am I coming to the defense of former administrators of the police department, some of which I am no fan of. But remember, Oscar has a major bone to pick with the police department. Remember his own allegations of child endangerment several years ago. If Oscar has known of potential victims since the mid 90’s, maybe he is part of this alleged cover up, or at the very least not living up to his responsibility of a mandated reporter (Elected School Board Member). Oscar is a politician, with a self-serving agenda…it’s election time, remember this at the poll.

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