Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Former Willits Police Lieutenant Becomes Target of Criminal Investigation

[Stock image provided by te Willits Police Department]

Derek Hendry, a former Lieutenant of the Willits Police Department, is under investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office which served a search warrant on his Ukiah home. 

Lake County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Lauren Berlinn told us that LCSO’s Major Crimes Unit is conducting the investigation serving the search warrant on Hendry’s Ukiah home on August 5, 2022. 

Berlinn said, “This is a continuing investigation, and charges have not been referred to the District Attorney’s Office either in Lake or in Mendocino County.”

Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, Berlinn told us she could not comment on “the nature of the charges, the contents of the search warrant, or other elements of the investigation at this time.”

We reached out to Willits Police Chief Fabian Lizarraga, the head of the police force where Hendry once served as a lieutenant, who said his ability to comment was limited but confirmed the active criminal investigation.

Chief Lizarraga sought the assistance of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office needing an independent agency to conduct the criminal investigation. Looking to an outside agency allowed him to thwart any transparency or conflict of interest issues that might arise. 

During his career in local law enforcement, Derek Hendry has served as a Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office deputy and rose up in the ranks of the Willits Police Department becoming a lieutenant.

Hendry was a key player named in a civil suit filed by former WPD Chief Alexis Blaylock. Blaylock was hired as the Willits Police Chief in August 2020 just over a month after taking the helm because she reportedly faced a hostile work environment, harassment, sexism, and racism. 

Hendry allegedly openly expressed his opposition to serving under Blaylock due to her gender and race. Blaylock was allegedly told by Willits City management she would be meeting with them and Hendry to assess “how Blaylock was doing.” This civil suit asserts these meetings indicated that “Hendry, Chief Blaylock’s white male subordinate, would be instrumental in evaluating Chief Blaylock’s performance.”

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11 COMMENTS

  1. As hard as it is for you to stand up for yourself against these awful situations it is also imperative to expose them. That he would have any say about your performance is ridiculous. I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this
    Pray he receives the same kindness that he showed you

  2. I love how they try to pretend like they’re going to do something about it. LOL
    Lake County investigating a Willits issue in Ukiah. That right there is your three ring circus folks!

    • Where exactly do you propose they do the investigation? It would be very difficult to serve a search warrant on his home if the investigation was completely done in Willits since HE LIVES IN UKIAH.

      As far as punishment goes, i see this going very similar to the Kevin Murray case. He won’t see the inside of a jail which is exactly where he belongs!

  3. I hope that he gets nailed to the wall. He is a literal monster. He’s harmed more than enough women to last 5 lifetimes.

  4. The rumor going around is that it has something to do with a girl who was found dead a while back.
    I’m not saying that’s a fact but it is the rumor people are spreading.

  5. Derick hendry is just one out of many Mendocino county police officers responsible for dozens and dozens of larg marijuana operations being busted and at the end of the bust everyone told they were free to go no charges no report just the cops using there badges like legalized gangsters to take everything from local pot farmers and I’m talking back when weed was worth something we are talking hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars in the end amounting to million’s along with thousands of pounds of weed this is not just a story it’s facts I know there names I know who they are but so do hundreds of other local residents the truth will come out one day soon and they will have to answer for the things they have done

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a journalist for the everyman. Journalism has become a craft practiced largely by the urban elite. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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