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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.

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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.