former investigator sues city in alhambra arson cover-up

This is a crazy story about a fire that destroyed a strip mall four years ago in an Asian neighborhood of Alhambra, California. But the fire was only the beginning. While the Alhambra Fire Department quickly pronounced that it was an electrical fire, the drama that followed involved a dead body, ample evidence of arson, and a cover-up: Alhambra Arson Foul Play?

At the center of the drama was Ken Toh, a veteran fire protection specialist -- and one of the Alhambra Fire Department's few connections with the Asian community -- who saw his career destroyed by criminal charges and an unprecedented citywide witch hunt. All because he wanted to ensure that the fire, and a community member's death, were investigated thoroughly.
Toh today can't get a job. He says he had no choice but to sue the City of Alhambra in federal court for violating his civil rights. Though baffled for a long time, Toh came to believe he was targeted by fire officials whose upper ranks included no Chinese-Americans — in a Los Angeles suburb that is 50 percent Asian.

Now, current and former Alhambra city employees have begun swearing under oath that top Alhambra officials, including City Manager Julio Fuentes, were involved in suppressing or destroying evidence in controversial fires. They point to the troubling Olive Avenue fire, in which a man died.

"Something is very wrong in Alhambra," Toh says.
Read the full article here. It's an infuriating story on racial prejudice, corruption and city government. More here: Congresswoman Judy Chu's office looking into discrimination allegations against Alhambra Fire Department.

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