In the suit, they say city officials failed to notice Veches'
alleged crimes, which police say had been happening for at least two
years before April 2002.
City Atty. Bob Burnham said Thursday the city has not yet been
served with the lawsuit.
Veches, 32, of Huntington Beach, who was arrested in April, is
awaiting a criminal trial on 28 felony counts of lewd contact with
minors and one misdemeanor count of possessing child pornography. He
pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The parents in their complaint said Veches enticed their children
with candy and money and then touched them inappropriately. Police
have said Veches had a foot fetish and sucked several children's
All of his alleged victims were young boys who attended several of
the city's after-school, day-care and recreational programs that he
supervised at Mariners Park, West Newport Community Center on 15th
Street and the Community Youth Center on 5th Street in Corona del
Newport Beach Police investigators say they found a stack of 36
photos in Veches' home that showed him sucking the toes of several
young boys who attended the city's programs. They also say they found
more than 3,500 images of child pornography on CD ROMs and Zip disks
in a cardboard box under his bed.
Detectives who testified at a preliminary hearing in September
said one of the boys they questioned told them Veches would take
pictures of his feet and of him lying on the pool table making funny
Another boy -- son of one of the plaintiffs -- told investigators
that Veches would ask him if he could suck on his toes and would go
ahead and do it even if the boy said "no."
Detectives said they also found among Veches' possessions several
photos of children sucking their own toes, playing barefoot or
In their suit, the plaintiffs allege that the city "breached its
duties by failing to use care in hiring, retaining and supervising
Veches." The complaint further states that Veches' e-mail address
before being hired four years ago by the city was firstname.lastname@example.org.
The lawsuit does not state a specific amount, but seeks general
damages, reimbursement for medical and psychological services and
legal expenses. The plaintiffs had submitted claims to the city
amounting to about $4.5 million, but the city rejected those claims.
City officials have continually said that they have done their
part to hire good employees.
"We fingerprint our candidates and do background checks," City
Manager Homer Bludau said in September as he was preparing to hire
Veches' replacement. "But no method is 100% foolproof."
Veches quit his job after the allegations. He is being held in
Orange County jail in lieu of a $500,000 bail. A pretrial hearing is
set for Jan. 6 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.
* DEEPA BHARATH covers public safety and courts. She may be
reached at (949) 574-4226 or by e-mail at email@example.com.