Balian Pleads Guilty


Former Glendale police detective John Balian, 45, pled guilty on July 11 to all three counts against him. Balian was arrested in May and charged with bribery of programs receiving federal funds, obstruction of justice and making false statements.

On July 13, Balian was denied bail.

Balian was a member of GPD for 14 years. At the time of his arrest he was on medical leave.

According to court records, he withdrew his previously entered plea of not guilty and entered a plea of guilty.

The criminal complaint that was made public after Balian’s arrest made several references to the detective’s involvement with both the Mexican and Armenian mafias and how he worked with gang members to commit crimes including extortion.

“The defendant swore to uphold an oath to enforce the law, but instead chose to break the law,” said Paul Delacourt, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s LA Field Office, in a statement at the time of Balian’s arrest. “Mr. Balian moved in criminal circles and operated as though he was above the law by repeatedly lying to hide his criminal activity and that of others. His alleged actions impeded legitimate investigations into organized violent crime and consequently presented a threat to public safety.”

Balian was a narcotics officer with GPD and, prior to that, served as one of the department’s public information officers.

“I am aware that John Balian pleaded guilty to [three] felony counts in federal court today. These actions are not consistent with the values of the Glendale Police Department, nor is it representative of the men and women who work hard every day to protect our community. A felony conviction disqualifies an individual from being a peace officer in the state of California, and the Glendale Police Department is taking swift and appropriate action,” stated GPD Chief Carl Povilaitis.

Balian is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 24.