Former Parker Police Chief to be charged with felony?

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An Arizona Department of Public Safety detective who conducted a criminal investigation into the actions of former Parker Police Chief Rod Mendoza has requested that Mohave County charge him with a class 6 felony for tampering with physical evidence.

The revelation comes in a report by independent investigators which looked into several allegations and rumors at the behest of the Town of Parker before Mendoza resigned. Some of the findings cast doubt upon Mendoza’s judgement and others imply dishonesty and breach of ethics.

In the case of the one criminal finding, Mendoza is alleged to have tampered with an email he sent to Lorrie Thompson, the wife of a Parker police officer. Thompson had accused Mendoza of pursuing a romantic relationship with her despite both of them being married, and alleges that he kissed her on the lips in his office on June 5th, 2013. A few weeks later on June 27th, Thompson wrote him an email which said:

“Dear Rod,

Thank you for clarifying your intentions, just a note to let you know that I am not interested in pursuing anything beyond a professional relationship with you. I love my husband very much and I also am quite fond of your wife, she’s a very nice person. As stated in our last conversation, this will in no way affect any professional dealings I have with you in the future.

Sincerely,

Lorrie A. Thompson”

According to the report, Mendoza replied in two emails, one sent via his iPhone 13 minutes later and the second via his office computer 23 minutes after the first. The report finds that “The copy of these messages that Lorrie Thompson presented in her interview and the copies that Chief Mendoza has presented are materially different.”

The copy Thompson provided reads as follows:

“Lorrie
I’m not real sure what you’re talking about but agree and I think that you are very professional woman in fact give me a call because I think I may have a law-law enforcement opportunity for you I told you I would keep searching for Opportunities.”

The copy Mendoza provided begins with the same message but adds several lines to the one Thompson says she received:

“Lorrie
I’m not real sure what you’re talking about but agree and I think that you are very professional woman in fact give me a call because I think I may have a law-law enforcement opportunity for you I told you I would keep searching for Opportunities. You and I have been friends for a long time and when you started coming by the PD to talk I thought I made my intentions clear. We knew each other before either one of us were married and now we are married to wonderful people. I’m glad to hear you are really only interested in a professional relationship because I think you are a professional woman. Mike is a great guy and loves you very much, you two are good for each other. I hope our conversation did not lead to anything else except friendship. I will continue to work with you and continue to look for law enforcement opportunities for you. I know how important that is to you.
Sincerely,
Rod Mendoza”

The finding of the report is that Mendoza deleted the original emails from his Outlook account in the Inbox and Sent Items folders, and showed his altered copy to Town Manager Lori Wedemeyer, Mayor Dan Beaver and others. He is also alleged to have presented this altered copy as evidence in a court of law while purporting it to be genuine. This refers to a court hearing in Lake Havasu City when Mendoza successfully fought Thompson’s injunction against harassment.

The report concludes that Mendoza’s “account of his actions is not supported, and in some cases is refuted, by objective evidence” and that his “failure to cooperate with [investigators’] requests to provide relevant documentation probative to the issue under review here further calls his truthfulness and integrity into question.”

Other parts of the report investigate whether Mendoza sought to protect his future wife, Leean Hendrix, from allegations of false reporting and impersonating a public official, and whether he instructed a subordinate officer to destroy public records in the form of evidence against her. The investigation found that no destruction of evidence occurred and that Mendoza had nothing to do with Hendrix not being prosecuted. However, the report concludes that “Mendoza’s actions throughout this investigation and his subsequent decision to date and take Leean Hendrix as his wife have served to create an atmosphere of distrust between him, many members of his own department, his supervisor as well as some members of the community.”

To the question of whether Lorrie Thompson was right to allege that Mendoza kissed her on the lips inappropriately in his office in June 2013, the report finds that “his decision to close his office door while meeting alone with Lorrie Thompson was unwise and the hushed tone and personal content of his conversation with her just prior to [his wife Leean’s] arrival are consistent with Lorrie Thompson’s assertion that he was trying to establish a romantic connection with her.”

Thompson also said that Mendoza had driven to Lake Havasu City in a Parker P.D. vehicle with the purpose of meeting her at Starbucks on June 11th and had told her he wanted to have a secret romantic relationship with her even though he had a wife and she had a husband, and that this meeting had happened when Thompson’s husband Mike, one of Mendoza’s subordinates, was out of town on Parker P.D. business. The investigation concluded that the meeting happened and was “inappropriate and beneath the dignity of his position and a violation of the trust placed in his office. One only has to read the text messages that set up the meeting and listen to the tape recording of their encounter to come to this conclusion.”

Other rumors were addressed in the report and found to be lacking in substance or evidence. Other questions were not addressed due to lack of time in interviews. The report was based on 25 interviews involving 15 different individuals, conducted in person and by phone.

Mendoza resigned while on paid administrative leave pending the results of the report. Clay Romo was made Chief of Police and is now leading Parker Police Department.

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CORRECTION: The original version of this article said that this report was by the Department of Public Safety. The only allegation which involved DPS was the criminal investigation into tampering with evidence. The rest of the allegations were investigated by independent investigators Jim Humphrey & Ronald Hergert at the behest of the Town of Parker.
AMENDMENT 2: The original version of this article contained a link to the original report (the source material for this article). At the request of some individuals named in the report but NOT central to the allegations that the report was able to confirm, Parker Live has removed that link out of respect for their privacy.

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33 comments

  1. Fascinating how one person’s delusions can affect an entire community. Someone needs a kick in the ass/wake up call before they go calling other people liars and professing their love for God and the truth when their entire life is based on the hurtful lies they tried to spread about innocent people. Glad we (meaning the non-psychotic residents of Parker) can put this mess behind us.

  2. Thank you John…. Great story!

  3. I followed Lorrie Thompsons Kingman fiasco and I can’t believe the similarities. What I read in this report indicates there are many “he said, she said” statements and find it interesting that one person in particular seemed to be keeping tabs on Chief Mendoza, wonder why? Who is this person related to or very close to? There may be some underlying truth to the report his wife made and certain people did not want that report to get out but now it looks like they opened a door that can’t be shut.

    In regards to the emails, in the LHC court documents she testisfied under oath that she sent Chief Mendoza an email telling him to” leave her alone”, which she and her attorney could not produce and the emails from the investigator did not show that she sent him that email with that statement. And who cares if the Chief did drive the Town of Parker vehicle to California or LHC, he is on duty 24/7. Do you mean to tell me that no other Town of Parker employee or County employees have not used town vehicles for their personal use? I doubt that. And if I am not mistaken the report indicated that her husband was not forthcoming in his letter or statements about Chief Mendoza, will the town look into that? Wasn’t he a police officer in Kingman?

    I also read the other reports that Ms. Thompson made sure were public and for the life of me I don’t understand why she wasn’t able to have the recordings in court on 8/15/13 to prove her case. If I was going to court I would make sure I had those tapes with me (that is why she had an attorney) and why transcripts of the recording were not transcribed completely but just portions of tape recordings which most did not make any sense. If she had the recorder running on 6/5/13 it would have recorded her comment to him after the alledged kiss, but I didn’t read that in any reports. She has stated in numerous posting that she said something to him and also made that statement in court on 8/15/13. Something still smells fishy.

    I think there are things that others do not what to be made public. Remember all of this is public information available in Kingman and LHC.

  4. I wondered when “Samantha Wright” would clock in. Rehashing your same tired vitriolic nonsense. None of this is a bombshell. Like I said before, everyone knows where I’m from and what my former married name was. Also available via public records request, Mrs. Mendoza’s false reporting incidents, the fully transcribed interviews this summary was gleaned from, and the Public Access to Court records showing both Hendrix and Mendoza’s records. So big deal? The truth is Mr. Mendoza is looking at a felony, Mrs. Mendoza escaped several, and the attorney that defended him in the Injunction hearing has a complaint against him with the AZ State Bar for submitting the felonious email. The reason the recording wasn’t presented in court, for the millionth time, is it was evidence in a criminal investigation. That’s more important than an Injunction hearing. I stated that’s where it was in court and to you, “Samantha” last time you were spouting. Just let it all go and move on like any normal person would. Take this as a learning experience, like I did Kingman as a matter of fact, and move on. All of this negativity isn’t good for anyone. As for my husband, he didn’t lie, he stated he was told by Mendoza to delete Leean’s interviews from the system and he did. He didn’t state that all record of it was gone. He stated he had never been asked to delete any before or after that. Period. Anyway, let this all rest now. Such hate can truly destroy a person. I won’t be answering you again but, I’ll pray for peace within your soul, “Samantha.” Take care.

  5. Great factual story, John. The reporters in La Paz County should be commended for being very careful and only reporting the facts. Other news agencies are not as ethical.

  6. Lorrie if are so sure of all your facts/stories then don’t bother to answer me or anyone else who does not agree with you. You seem to get so angry when its not going your way. Don’t worry about my soul its healthy and guilt free. Remember a door swings both ways.

  7. Samatha if that is your name maybe you should get your own life and quite focusing on my sister’s life. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. If you don’t know all the facts then maybe just maybe you should keep opinions to yourself. God forbid something happens in your family and people say crap about someone you love and care for.. You should remember that in the future.

  8. Well you would know family drama but God forbid you think about the pain your sister caused to the innocent wives and children of the married men who made her the ongoing victim.

    Of course everyone else is wrong and she is right that has been her story maybe you should get hold of the Kingman documents (not just what she gives you) and read her statements you might have a different point of view. The one constant in all of the drama in Kingman and Parker has been your sister. When you read documents you will see that Chief Mendoza is not the only Parker PD Officer she made accusations against.

    I understand family loyalty but there comes a time when you have to take a step back and wonder how does she keep getting herself into these situations that have destroyed families and careers. No one will ever convience those with tunnel vision that she has been anything but the innocent victim in all of this so…. why do you bother?

  9. We all know Samantha Wright is Rod Mendoza so, if you are so innocent why the fake name? Face it, you went after her and she rejected you, same with the one idiot in Kingman. The other made his choice. Drop it already or should we all start posting your public records to shut you up? I can get the DPS report. How about copies of your warrants? I will leave your wife out of it, she is just a victim of your lies. Move away already, no one believes you.

  10. SO Samatha Wright is the Chief… Shame on you! You are a piece of crap! No wonder you are talking like that you have to hide behind a fake name because of what you did.. That says it all! No wonder you keep replying on this thing and you can’t leave it alone. You are not innocent( Samantha) and you will get what’s coming to you. Too funny!

  11. I heard the same thing, that Samantha Wright was actually Mendoaza. I’ll have to agree with Randy Hartless, this guy is delusional. I read the report you had on here earlier, and Mendoaza lied about everything, so I find it hard to believe anything he says. And now hes arrested for a felony. Thankfully he cant be a cop any more. I hope he moves away to. This town needs to be free of him. *edited*

  12. From the fully transcribed IA on Mr. Mendoza… JH is Jim Humphrey, RH is Ron Hergert, RM is Mr. Mendoza…

    “JH So wouldn’t you normally do an internal investigation too? Keep it on file for your officer to show that he was exonerated, unfounded, not sustained, or whatever?

    RM If we thought there was truth to it and also we talked to the sergeant who thought it was _____, who said he didn’t want anything more done with it, and Lorrie Thompson said she, she was upset that cause we were gonna looking at it, and didn’t want anything done with it. So we didn’t do anything on it. We just left it as a criminal.

    JH But on…

    RH But y, you could’ve decided otherwise you could’ve written it up and put it in a file.

    RM Yeah that was my discretion to do. I mean, we could’ve went the whole IA gambit or we could’ve just, Mike Thompson didn’t want anything to done with it. He just wanted it to stop. Lorrie Thompson was upset that we were even investigating it. Um he…”

    I didn’t accuse anyone else at Parker PD of anything. Just Mendoza. “Samantha,” you are getting pretty close to defamation again…

  13. First let me assure you that I am Samatha Wright and no one else, but I am sure you will continue to insist that I am using a fake name that is your choice. Just like you previously accused me of being someone in Kingman who had a record and even if I was that Samatha Wright I still have the right to my opinion. I am quite familiar and close to the whole Kingman mess let me assure you. As far as defamation that is the pot calling the kettle black. Amazing how you can post anything you want about anyone and make accusations but when something truthful is posted about you its “defamation”. By the way I thought you (Lorrie) were not going to respond anymore. Seems you just can’t quit. In the words of…well Samatha Wright blah, blah, blah.

  14. This is not the forum for this but I have a question for Samatha… since you are not directly involved in this you are not my sister or the Mendoza or even the “people” I use that term loosely from Kingman why do you care so much? It does not effect you in any way shape or form but yet you seem kind of obsessed with it. You don’t know the whole story just what you have read right? My sister is saying things that have been printed in reports and things like that. So once again I ask you why do you care so much? It seems to me either my sister has a stalker (you) that maybe she needs to legally take care of. Because if you are not directly involved you sure have an unusual interest in what she does for just an average bystander. Once again I have to say it’s none of your business! You just don’t seem to understand that point do you… Maybe blah, blah, blah is what you do understand

  15. Don’t waste your time with that troll, sis. It isn’t brave enough to use it’s own name and keeps regurgitating the same tired crap. It’s said nothing about anything remotely factual. It’s either the felon, the false reporter, or the lawyer who may be possibly in deep with the AZ State Bar, if any of them had any sense of decency, they’d learn from their mistakes and move on. Like I said, and I really mean it actually, I shall pray for them. They obviously need it. I’ve taken responsibility for my past mistakes and admitted them. Maybe they should try that also. Love you, sis.

  16. Again with the accusations and threats. Let’s see you have just about come full circle by demeaning everyone who didn’t side with you or believe you (in Kingman & Parker); judges, lawyers, town/county employees, officers, people in the community, the media. I’m sure you will respond that this is not true, however, I would suggest that you go back through your posts to refresh your memory. Shape it, spin it, fake it anyway you like to make yourself out to be the innocent victim in all of this. It must be a terrible curse to have so many men lusting for you. In closing don’t waste your prayers on me I feel you are going to need them.

    Unitl the next Lorrie saga.

  17. Samantha (Mendoza) you seem to only focus your energy on Lori Thompsons complaint. Yet, I read the report and you seem to gloss over the fact that you lied about everything during your investigation; you failed to provide evidence, you claim to of had, that was requested by the investigators (choosing to resign instead, because you knew you were lying) in addition you committed a felony, and will most likely be going to jail. I feel sorry for your poor wife who just lost her meal ticket. Oh well, she will just move on to the next guy. The citizens of Parker, need to be rid of you two, and no matter how you spin it, you f’d up and yet you continue to blame others. You need to move to a different town where nobody knows your lack of character, and you can start over again.

  18. The facts are the facts Samantha. Mendoza committed a felony and Many other things that were ethically and morally wrong and thanks to Lorrie for coming forward he’s going to be held accountable. Who cares what happened in Kingman that has nothing to do with Parker. Sometimes things happen to people and they have no control over it. I noticed that you don’t mention the fact that Mendoza did these same type if things to women when he worked for Ventura county and was fired for it. So instead of blaming Lorrie for something that she didn’t do you really should blame Mendoza because he is the one those chose to try and pursue other women while he was married, tampering with evidence, not following town policies, holding his officers to a higher standard than himself. So let’s put the blame where it belongs…..Like Lillian stared Mendiza lied about everything he didn’t provide any evidence on his own behalf and he chose to resign. His power trip finally caught up to him and as far as Leann goes she has done many things and gotten away with them. Maybe this is just karma catching up to both of them…. I want to thank Lorrie because without her coming forward he would still be the chief and continuing his unscrupulous behavior.. The citizens of Parker deserve something better!

  19. Samantha, your obsession with the Kingman stuff makes me think you could very well be the fired Captain. Could be the reason we all thought you are Mendoza is because you two are almost like the same guy. Old cops, powertripping, used to getting their way and can’t control yourselves. Bottom line is, no matter what Lorri did or didn’t do, YOU TWO ARE/WERE (?) MARRIED and kept going after her. Admit you are scumbags with a history of that and get a clue already. If you two were so innocent why is there actual proof that you did what she said you both did? Give it up and go back under the rock you crawled out under.

  20. It amazes me how one woman could stir up so much crap and affect so many lives. Lorrie , whatever happnd between you and Rod could of been handled so differently. As far as I’m concerned, this meeting you had with Rod bordered lined on entrapment. From what I’ve seen following this saga , you sound like an extremely smart woman who can hold her own. You seem confidant, talented and gifted. Could you just of confronted him privately and asked him to stop? Setting up this meeting at Statbucks with a tape recorder was overly dramatic. As strong as you seem, it would of seemed to me you could of put him in his place. I don’t know all the details and it sounds like there is some work conflict with your husband and Rod, but you could of nipped this in the bud a long time ago. I’m not one to judge , so please forgive me if it sounds like I am judging. I’m just an outsider….., who sees this drama could of been avoided with much simpler methods.

  21. Can I make a simple plea for civility? Please, no personal attacks.

  22. Apparently you didn’t read the report Jacquline. He needed to be stopped so that he couldn’t continue to prey on other unsuspecting woman. He was doing this to numerous women as it was a common practice of his to use his position as Chief to try and get dates, even when he was married. I for one thank god that she did, so now people can see his true character and he cant do this to anymore women, atleast not while he is Chief. You bring up entrapment. Try reading the Sheriffs Departments reports. You cant entrap someone who keeps hounding you to meet up with them, then tell you they want to have an affair. Nobody said or made him do this. She just recorded it because nobody would believe her otherwise. Again, this is all in the reports leann. Try reading them…

  23. Lillian, I have read the reports. Just thought it could of been done differently. Between Lorre and him. It would of been less stress for you. Whether he did it to other women, you still could of confronted him about it. I know it’s easy for me to sit back and Mondsy morning quarterback, but it’s my opinion. Btw, I’m not Leamn. I don’t even know her. I hope she has the strength to get thru all of this.

  24. Everything Jacqueline and Lillian says is true.. He would never stop that type of behavior until he was forced to…Lorrie is efinitely a strong confident woman but many women are not so if she didn’t do everything she did he could have abused or intimidated many many more. With Mendoza it is a repeating pattern.

  25. Since there are those of you who choose to vilify the victim. Here are the findings on Mendoaza from the Sheriffs Department Detective, who investigated Lori Thompsons criminal complaint. BASED ON THIS RECORDING, THE RECORDING DATED; 6/5/2013, THE DOCUMENTATION AND TEXT MESSAGES GIVEN TO ME BY MRS. THOMPSON ON 6/18/2013 AND, SOME OF THE COMMENTS CHIEF MENDOZA HAS MADE TO MRS. THOMPSON, ALONG WITH THE TWO KNOWN PHYSICAL ACTS (A KISS ON 6/5/2013 & THE CLANDESTINE RENDEZVOUS IN LAKE HAVASU CITY, AZ. ON 6/11/2013), IT CAN BE SUGGESTED THAT THERE IS AN ACTIVE ATTEMPT ON CHIEF MENDOZA’S PART, TO ESTABLISH A FOUNDATION, FROM WHICH HE CAN ADVANCE HIS DESIRE TO HAVE A ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP WITH MRS. THOMPSON.CHIEF MENDOZA’S COMMENTS/CONDUCT IS EXTREMELY UNPROFESSIONAL, UNETHICAL AND UNBECOMING A CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, ESPECIALLY, IN LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT BOTH PARTIES ARE MARRIED AND HAVE SPOUSES. ANOTHER UNDERLYING FACT, WHICH CANNOT BE DISMISSED AND MUST BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION, IS THAT MRS. THOMPSON’S HUSBAND, MIKE THOMPSON; WORKS DIRECTLY UNDER CHIEF MENDOZA’S SUPERVISION AND IS PART OF HIS COMMAND STRUCTURE. THIS EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP THAT IS BASED ON HONESTY, TRUST AND INTEGRITY, HAS NOW BEEN COMPROMISED BY THE VERY PERSON, WHO THE TOWN OF PARKER APPOINTED TO BE THEIR CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. THE DAMAGE CAUSED BY THIS TYPE OF CONDUCT IS DESTRUCTIVE IN NATURE AND IN MOST INSTANCES, IRREVERSIBLE.

  26. Interesting that sometimes it’s not the dirty thing you do that gets you in the end, its the criminal act you commit trying to cover up the dirty thing you did. Too bad the pioneer wasn’t interested in reporting the story until after I had the courage to do it. Sad that the people of La Paz County are treated like mushrooms.

  27. You are right, Jacqueline, it isn’t your place to judge me, nor is it anyone else’s. That is between me and God. I made my decision to record him based on a past experience where it was a law enforcement officer’s word against mine. People tend to believe the one with the shiny badge over the one without one. You need hard evidence and even with that, people still don’t believe you. If you all really care so much, submit a public records request to the Town for the Humphrey/ Hergert investigation. It is a thorough report with fully transcribed interviews. Everyone’s words speak for themselves. I am still rather mystified as to why his subordinates did not report the things they brought up that he had allegedly done before this all happened. Yes, I know, they feared for their jobs but, they had suffered far worse at his hands than I had. To wait for a civilian to report him for something else and then spill what they knew seems rather… oh, I don’t even know… I have had this discussion with my husband, believe me. Anyway, I had been down this very same twisted road before so this time I handled it quite differently.

    Conversely, it is not anyone’s place to judge him either, except for God, and his wife. I give her credit for standing by him and I hope he apologizes to her and actually begins to appreciate how lucky he is to have someone so loyal to him. I am sure he bears me more than a little ill will (his is the only interview I skimmed, I really didn’t have the patience to read it). If he had listened to me that day in Starbucks I told him exactly what would happen, like I said then, I’ve been down that road.

    Our lives are the product of our decisions, we either learn from them and grow or we let them destroy us. I’ve made my decision. God bless you all.

  28. Well said, Lorre. I only wish you the best and hope that you will have closure soon. May God’s blessings bestow you and give you peace thru all this. Taking a step back and being still, is part of the healing. Take a break from it all. Don’t engage into anymore conversations, good or bad concerning this. Be quiet and gentle. It will still your heart. I had something happen to my son recently that made internatonal news. I have had to stand back and stop trying to defend myself and my son. It was hardening my heart. It doesn’t matter. Your friends will believe you, your enemies won’t. Be strong.

  29. Well played Parker Live…. Wishing I could get this kind of traffic to my website! HAHA. Sorry for the humor, but I find this entire thing to be utterly ridiculous at this point. As a resident of Parker, the best thing anyone can do is just move on from this. What is done is done. Whether you believe what has been presented or not, it’s all water under the bridge now. For the health of Parker, please let this entire thing float down the river to never be talked about again. The more it is talked about, the more mud that is thrown at each other, the closer and closer we get to becoming Quartzsite 2.0 and I don’t think anyone wants that to happen.

  30. I wrote earlier that I agreed with Jacqueline and right now reading it over that isn’t true. I must have been tired. But I don’t agree with what she has stated until the last post where it says she wishes Lorrie the best and hope she has closure soon. There was NO other way for Lorrie to handle this situation. I just needed to clarify that! I believe that closure will come when he has been arrested and/or officially lost his POST certification.

  31. Boy, even after 50 years some things don’t change in “Parker Place”.

  32. Ok Folks I’m A Total Outside (Live In Chicago) & Happened Upon This Article While.bb Searching For A Friends Obit. I Read The Article, The Subsequent Posts & How Dare Any Of U Condemn Lorrie For Her Actions Or Hv The Audacity To Say She Could Hv “Handled It Better”. Hopefully Next Time It’s U So U Can See How Ud React….Walk A Day Ppl, Walk A Day In Her Shoes Or ANY Other Victim & THEN U Can Judge.

  33. And This Is My Real Name…Now Corrected With No Typos.

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