Former San Jacinto College Police Chief Sentenced Today

POSTED: 09:10 AM PDT Sep 27, 2011    UPDATED: 07:18 AM PST Nov 23, 2010 
RIVERSIDE -

Former Mt. San Jacinto College police Chief Kevin Harold Segawa is slated to be sentenced today to a year in jail for bribery and other felonies tied to towing scams he perpetrated at the campus.

Segawa, 39, entered a plea deal in June, on the day of his preliminary hearing.

The defendant was charged last December with bribery, destruction of evidence by a public official, and two counts each of perjury, submitting falsified documents and embezzlement -- all felonies -- as well as misdemeanor counts of concealing evidence and modifying a written notice to appear.

The ex-cop pleaded guilty to all charges, and Riverside County Superior Court Judge Helios Hernandez indicated he would consider a 365-day jail sentence for Segawa, as well as several years probation, instead of prison.

Prosecutors alleged that between 2005 and 2008, Segawa sent 85 percent of the campus's towing business to Pirot's Towing, whose 40-year-old owner, Morgan Allen McComas, is charged with bribery and misappropriation of funds.

His trial is scheduled to get under way next month.

Segawa received a motorcycle, rims and tires for his pickup truck, about $120 in free lunches at a Riverside restaurant, tickets for a box seat at the Del Mar Racetrack and $75 in food and drinks at a 2006 Christmas party, none of which he declared, prosecutors said.

Investigators estimate McComas' company may have earned as much as a half-million dollars from towing fees.

During a 13-month probe into the case, Mt. San Jacinto College police officers told investigators that Segawa directed or influenced them to tow vehicles and to regularly use Pirot, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Segawa also seized an ice cream cart in Menifee -- off campus -- turning the vendor over to immigration authorities for deportation and taking the ice cream home, dividing it between himself and a neighbor. The chief never signed or filed an arrest ticket, according to prosecutors.

Mt. San Jacinto College fired Segawa last fall. He remains free on bond.