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Murrieta's former mayor under the microscope

Posted: 4:58 PM, Jan 27, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-28 00:58:58Z
ANAHEIM (CNS) - An Anaheim firefighter is under investigation by his employer to determine what repercussions, if any, he should face after pleading guilty in a DUI case in Murrieta , where he was the mayor.
   
On Friday, Alan William Long pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge under an agreement negotiated with the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.
   
"Now that the criminal case is complete, we have initiated an internal investigation, which could take anywhere from a few days to a few months, depending on the complexity of it and the people who will be interviewed,"
Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt told City News Service.
   
Long had originally been charged with felony DUI and sentence-enhancing allegations of inflicting great bodily injury and subjecting multiple victims to injury -- all of which were dismissed under the plea deal.
 
Friday's hearing was listed as a status conference at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta. A preliminary hearing had been set for this week.
   
Long's attorney, Virginia Blumenthal, entered the plea on behalf of her client, who was not required to be present.
   
Superior Court Judge Stephen Gallon certified the plea terms, sentencing Long to three years probation and 180 days in county jail, though it's unlikely he'll spend a day behind bars due to the overcrowded conditions at
each of Riverside County's five detention facilities.
   
Long is a battalion chief for the Anaheim Fire Department and has been active since his October 2014 arrest, according to Wyatt.
   
The defendant resigned his position as mayor but went on to run for re-election and won, less than a month after his arrest. He's now in his second term on the Murrieta City Council.
   
On the night of Oct. 16, 2014, Long was at the wheel of a full-size pickup truck that rear-ended a sedan carrying four cheerleaders from Murrieta Valley High School, ages 14-17, at Jefferson and Lily avenues. The crash injured all four girls, two seriously.
   
The teenagers -- Melissa Reynolds, Camille Rogers, Chloe Rogers and Adrienna Williams -- have filed a joint lawsuit against Long, alleging willful negligence in causing an injury collision.
 
Their attorney, Jean-Simon Serrano alleged that the defendant "delayed and tried to deflect any involvement of authorities, while his blood-alcohol content was too high for driving."
   
Long held a news briefing shortly after his arrest and asserted that he would be exonerated after all the facts came out about the wreck.
   
According to police, Long's blood-alcohol level was in excess of .08 percent, the legal limit to operate a vehicle.
   
A hearing in the suit is scheduled for March 2.