L.A. POLICE CHIEF SAYS HE WILL RESIGN IF FOUND DERELICT

Embattled Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates said yesterday he would resign if a special commission found he had been derelict, but said he wanted to stay around long enough to clear up the reputation of his department. ``If they [special commission] come in to examine the Los Angeles department and find I have somehow been derelict, I would be the first one to say that I need to go,'' Chief Gates said in an interview on ABC's ``Nightline'' program.

But Gates said he would fight any decision by the regular Los Angeles Police Commission to give him administrative leave.

Gates, who has run the Los Angeles Police Department for 13 years, has been at the center of controversy since a bystander videotaped the brutal police beating of motorist Rodney King. After appointing a seven-member commission to investigate the department, Mayor Tom Bradley Tuesday called on Gates to resign.

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