“I’m scared for my friends that are in the department, they’re going to force us into the closet,” David Kurlyowicz made serious charges about Lieutenant Chad Bianco, who is running for Riverside County Sheriff, during public comment on Thursday night’s Palm Springs City Council meeting. Kurlyowicz is a staunch Sheriff Stan Sniff supporter in the sheriff’s race and was recently appointed chief of the Moreno Valley Police Department, a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department contract city by Sniff.
“I’m afraid for what’s going to happen if this person becomes the top cop,” Kurlyowicz said in tears about Bianco. While he says he can’t prove who is behind the attacks he believes Bianco is targeting him for being gay.
“I’ve lived it, I’ve suffered it, I’ve had to explain it to my children,” he says during a one on one with NBC Palm Springs.
Mayor Pro Tem J.R. Roberts was moved by his statements during the council meeting even calling him back up, “Thank you Mr. Kurlyowicz if you don’t mind I just had a few more questions,” he said.
But questions continue to this day for Roberts after meeting him in private to further discuss the matter and learning days before Kurlyowicz and Sniff met with Councilman Geoff Kors before the public comment and someone in his camp tipped off a reporter from a local paper about Kurlyowicz’s public comment.
“There is definitely a question in my mind why he didn’t go to the city where he lives or Moreno Valley where he serves as chief of police?” said Roberts adding that the only thing worse than bigotry in his mind was someone lying about it for political gain.
Kurlyowicz says he had no idea Sniff would be at the meeting and was invited by a third party and he went to the Palm Springs City Council meeting because he attends many events in the city and has been a volunteer there for years.
Kurlyowicz says the insults are mostly online, “Everything can be found on the internet it’s for lack of a better term it’s cyber-bullying,” but says people shout names at him as they drive by his home in the Murrieta / Meniffee area.
Kurlyowicz also accused Bianco of using derogatory language in a heated conversation they had when he showed up to one of Bianco’s events, which Bianco says he and other Sniff supporters often do to upset him and his campaign staff. We were given an audio recording of the conversation and nowhere in the recording did Bianco use any derogatory words against him.
“I have no desire at my function here with people who are waiting for me and my family at home to sit here and discuss this with you,” Bianco is heard saying and asking him to go home to his family because it was late after Kurlyowicz insisted they call a third party he’s accused of lying to.
Roberts said he also heard the audio and then when he asked Kurlyowicz about it he now claims it happened after in the parking lot.
Bianco says this is not true and can provide signed affidavits from witnesses adding that he now changed his story because he knows about the audio.
Roberts says he and his council will always stand up to bigotry, especially against the LGBTQ community.
But he also says while he wants to believe no one would make up these claims, he has seen the sheriff’s race devolve and has turned ugly, “Clearly this man has been a victim of harassment but when he came to speak to us and in a subsequent conversation I had with him he has no real proof that any of this harassment that is online came directly from Chad Bianco.”
When we asked Kurlyowicz if he was 100 percent certain Bianco is behind the attacks online and shouting when cars drive by his home, he would only say it’s his campaign adding, “But why hasn’t he come out and publicly denounced it?”
We also pressed him on attacks Sniff supporters have made online against Bianco supporters asking him if he’s also calling Sniff to denounce them?
Kurlyowicz says he only did this to share his story insisting he doesn’t want to change votes, just wants people to get to know their candidates. But he also said he did not know Bianco’s brother is gay adding that if he’s wrong about Bianco being behind the online attacks he’s man enough to admit it.
We also reached out several times to the City of Moreno Valley and the mayor to ask for their reaction to their police chief going to the Palm Springs City Council meeting to make these allegations. They said they would get back to us and never did.