RIVERSIDE – Nearly six months after Capt. David Kurylowicz, an openly gay Riverside County Sheriff’s Captain, was placed on paid administrative leave, that is exactly where he remains pending the outcome of an investigation.
One of Sheriff Chad Bianco’s first official acts after winning election in November was to sideline Kurylowicz.
Kurylowicz was removed as commander of the Moreno Valley station and Lt. Dave Lelevier stepped in to take Kurylowicz’s place.
The reasons behind Bianco’s move are unclear. No one is talking.
In the days and weeks leading up to the election face-off between then-Sheriff Stan Sniff and Bianco, Kurylowicz accused Bianco of making homophobic statements. Bianco has consistently denied making any such remarks.
Kurylowicz has never publicly offered any proof of the alleged homophobic statements.
Bianco’s move coincided with questions about Bianco’s perceived attitude toward the LGBTQ community. Much of the angst stems from a 10-page questionnaire Bianco completed in September 2018 —and signed — for the Temecula-Murrieta Republican Assembly. One law enforcement official said at the time it painted a “quite damning” picture.
The questionnaire touches on conversion therapy for homosexuals and what constitutes a civil marriage.
Uken Report obtained the questionnaire and some of Bianco’s responses.
Kurylowicz vigorously supported Sniff for re-election in November.
In February 2018, Kurylowicz and Bianco argued audibly about whether Kurylowicz had tried to persuade the Police Officers Research Association of California, which claims to represent the interests of 70,000 officers in the state, not to endorse Bianco.
In an audio recording posted on the blog Right on Daily, you can hear Kurylowicz protest that Bianco calls him a liar.
“I’m not calling you a liar but I’m telling you that I won’t believe anything you say,” Bianco says.
Kurylowicz retorts: “You say you’re a man of integrity; prove it.”
On Sept. 20, Kurylowicz spoke during the public comment period at the Palm Springs City Council meeting. Some questioned why he spoke to the Palm Springs City Council instead of to his own local City Council. The City Palm Springs Council is entirely LGBTQ and has been recognized in Sacramento for that accomplishment.
“I happen to be the target of a very vicious and vile attack by a candidate who is applying for the top police position for our county,” Kurylowicz said. “I am concerned for my community. As a gay man, I’ve faced ridicule and public humiliation by the Bianco campaign for my lifestyle. My husband has also faced similar troubles.
With his voice quivering, Kurylowicz added, “If this person is willing to do this to me — a veteran police officer for 26 years — I’m worried about what is going to happen with my community. It is real, and it is happening to me.”
You may watch it here.
Kurylowicz has said in the past that he considered himself a victim of cyberbullying.
Bianco, in a broadcast media interview, said one of his brothers is gay and that he would never make homophobic statements.
Bianco accused Sniff’s campaign of being behind Kurylowicz’s statements and added that his own campaign had no connection to Right On Daily, which supported Bianco.
- David Kurylowicz: Riverside County Sheriff's Department
- Paid Leave: Shutterstock