San Diego Union

Scientology-linked policeman fired

Vows to appeal

by Jon Standefer

January 26, 1978
A San Diego police lieutenant fired yesterday for passing police information to the Church of Scientology, and then lying about it, will appeal the action, according to his attorney.

Lt. Warren M. "Skip" Young, 31, and attorney Dick Castle had a two-hour, closed-door meeting with Police Chief William B. Kolender yesterday before Kolender announced the firing.

The chief said Young, a patrol lieutenant, was fired for "using his position to give information improperly to an organization," for "giving untruthful statements to the FBI" and for also making "untruthful statements to Deputy Chief Don Reierson and myself."

Young could not be reached for comment. Castle would only say that the firing will be appealed. The men left Kolender's office through a back door to avoid reporters.

Kolender said Young admitted yesterday he had used a police computer to check criminal histories of "several" persons, and then gave the information to a Church of Scientology member whom the chief identified as Betty Lou Allen.

The chief said he did not know the names of all the persons Young checked, nor did he recognize any of the names he did know.

According to Kolender, Young's unauthorized checking was uncovered when Kolender received information on a man wanted by the FBI, Michael J. Meisner [note; the Scientologist who blew the whistle on Operation Snow White].

The FBI was notified when Young requested the information on Meisner, and agents called the lieutenant. Young told the agents Meisner had been stopped in San Diego on a routine traffic violation, Kolender said.

When Meisner was later arrested, the chief said, Meisner told the FBI that he never had been in San Diego. And when a federal grand jury in Washington subpoenaed Meisner's San Diego records - which were nonexistent - the internal investigation was begun.

Kolender said he did not know why the Church of Scientology was interested in checking the background of Meisner and the others. When reached at the local Church of Scientology headquarters yesterday, the Rev. Jim Thompson identified Betty Lou Allen as the regional director of the church. "She's out of town and for that time I am acting regional director," the told the Union.

Thompson said "At the worst, it (Young giving the church the NCIC material) was an infraction of the rules and that's all. He has never had a blemish on his record."

Meisner, said Thompson, "was not a member of the church. He worked for the Department of Justice and was the one who started the grand jury investigation. This whole thing is just one more Justice Department ploy to stop our $750 million suit."

Thompson said he could not comment further "because our attorneys are considering including this incident in our conspiracy suit against the Justice Department."

An FBI spokesman here said he understood Meisner was among Church of Scientology members being investigated by the federal grand jury in Washington DC.

Young was in the Police Department for 10 years. His wife, Christine, is a civilian radio dispatcher, according to department spokesman Bill Robinson. There was no apparent link between her position and the NCIC checks and her job is not in jeopardy, said Robinson.