Cop gets fired after 3 strikes within 4 years


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Vernal45
May 28, 2005, 09:15 PM
Cop gets fired after 3 strikes within 4 years
Alterio plans to appeal ruling
AARON LEO aleo@ctpost.com
Connecticut Post
BRIDGEPORT Jason Alterio, the city police officer accused of assaulting several women in his four years on the force, has been fired.

But Alterio will appeal to the state Labor Board, with representation by Bridgeport Police Union Local 1159, said Sgt. Donald Jacques, the union president.

Alterio's lawyer, Elliot Spector, of West Hartford, could not be reached for comment.

"He's through as of today," Lt. James Viadero, police spokesman, said Tuesday. "The hearing officer's recommendation was termination."

Though former Police Chief Wilbur L. Chapman and current acting Chief Anthony Armeno both wanted Alterio terminated, the hearing officer, James Stewart, was the only one with the power to fire him. Stewart issued his findings earlier this week.

The department's Internal Affairs Division had found Alterio guilty of violating department regulations in three separate cases. Alterio was sworn into service in February 2001.

In one incident, Alterio is alleged to have used excessive force when responding to a call at a city woman's home on Aug. 10, 2002. He was not charged in that case. He was disciplined by the department but returned to duty.

The woman, Dolores Fonseca, accused him in a federal lawsuit of beating her. The suit also names the Police Department as a defendant.

A settlement conference is scheduled for June 7 at U.S. District Court in Hartford.

According to Fonseca's lawsuit, the incident began when she pushed Alterio's flashlight away. She maintains she was wearing a bathing suit and he was shining the light on her breasts.

She accused him of whacking her in the head with the flashlight, slamming her face into a door and stepping on her ankles. She was arrested but eventually cleared of the charges.

Alterio also served a 60-day suspension after his arrest in New Britain for allegedly violating a court order that barred him from contacting a former girlfriend. The woman told police he choked her during the incident.

Alterio was stripped of his gun in 2003 because of another protective order against him. It was imposed after he was arrested for allegedly harassing and stalking a former girlfriend in Stamford.

He pleaded guilty Jan. 18 to reduced misdemeanor charges covering all the criminal cases in exchange for a suspended six-month jail sentence and 18 months' probation.

Aaron Leo, who covers regional issues, can be reached at 330-6222.

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Standing Wolf
May 28, 2005, 09:19 PM
...Alterio will appeal to the state Labor Board, with representation by Bridgeport Police Union Local 1159...

If it wears a union label, I leave it on the shelf and buy something else.

Fly320s
May 28, 2005, 09:30 PM
The Union appeal is to be expected, that is why the union is there, right or wrong.

The article is dated today, which says to me that the officer was fired today or this past week, but he was convicted January 18th. Why the long gap? :confused:

Vernal45
May 29, 2005, 04:53 PM
Why the long gap?

Different laws for LEO's.

beerslurpy
May 29, 2005, 05:18 PM
If we threw every cop off the force everytime some person gets pissed off and files a bogus complaint, there wouldnt be any left.

Better to get rid of the bad ones later rather than dismiss good ones with less due process.

Still, at the risk of sounding like a cop-hater, I must ask why he isnt on trial for committing the crime of assault and battery?

Coronach
May 29, 2005, 05:19 PM
Why the long gap?Different laws for LEO's.Uh...firing someone is not a law. That's an administrative decision on the part of the business/agency that employs you. Being a LEO might be one of the few professions where you would be fired as a matter of course for engaging in activity like this. So, in that respect you might have a point. ;)

The reason for the delay doubtless has a heck of a lot to do with union contracts and civil service rules. He's certainly not on duty, and hopefully his status is leave without pay, but that would be governed by forces beyond the department's control (contract and civil service rules, again).

Mike

Coronach
May 29, 2005, 05:27 PM
Still, at the risk of sounding like a cop-hater, I must ask why he isnt on trial for committing the crime of assault and battery?For what, the flashlight incident? I dunno, but likely it has something to do with the ambiguity of the situation. Just because you can't prove a case against her doesn't mean that you have the evidence to turn around and convict him. Even running with the assumption that it happened he way she said (and, given the whole situation, I'd tend to believe her), the ability to sustain an excessive force complaint against him (which she did) does not necessarily rise to the level needed to sustain a criminal case.

Also:He pleaded guilty Jan. 18 to reduced misdemeanor charges covering all the criminal cases in exchange for a suspended six-month jail sentence and 18 months' probation.That might be included in this deal as well.

Mike

Elmer
May 29, 2005, 06:43 PM
Different laws for LEO's.

I agree. Here in California, if you're a cop, you're far more likely to be charged/convicted if you commit a crime.

Heck, in the Rodney King case, they were even able to get rid of that pesky double jeopardy law.

Always looks good to show that the police are held to a "higher standard."

Not to mention, that in most cases, you'll lose your career, and your retirement, unlike the general public.

Oops..... guess that's not what you meant. Didn't mean to interrupt your cop bashing. I'll just take this Memorial Day weekend to reflect on the thousands of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty, rather than the few bad apples.

Vernal45
May 29, 2005, 06:51 PM
Heck, in the Rodney King case, they were even able to get rid of that pesky double jeopardy law.

So, are you saying the cops were innocent?

Elmer
May 29, 2005, 06:56 PM
Well actually that shouldn't have mattered. They shouldn't have been subjected to another trial, after being found not guilty in the first.

But in answer to your question, yes, they were innocent.....

Do you know the facts of what happened that night? Or have you just seen the edited 17 seconds of video?

Vernal45
May 29, 2005, 07:02 PM
The Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution provides that no person shall "be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.But in 1959 the Supreme Court decided by a 5-4 vote in a case known as Bartkus that the doctrine of "dual sovereignty" permits successive state and federal prosecutions for essentially the same crime.


And, you are wrong, the cops were guilty.

Elmer
May 29, 2005, 07:05 PM
And, you are wrong, the cops were guilty.

Oh... OK. Thanks for setting me straight.

Go back to your fun.

Vernal45
May 29, 2005, 08:08 PM
I'll just take this Memorial Day weekend to reflect on the thousands of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty, rather than the few bad apples.

Memorial Day has nothing to do with LEO's. Unless you view LEO's as a defacto military arm.

Memorial day is meant to remember the SOLDIERS who died fighting in past and current wars. SOLDIERS, not LEO's

DMF
May 30, 2005, 12:25 AM
In what may be the only time I will ever agree with Vernal the concept of separate sovereigns does mean the officers in the Rodney King case were not subjected to "Double Jeopardy."

However, when examining the Rodney King case it is important to note, that what the two juries disagreed on was when King had stopped resisting the officers. The jury in the CA case against King felt that even though King was on the ground the tape showed he was still fighting and therefore all the strikes delivered by the officers were justified in an attempt to subdue him. However, the federal jury felt that while some of the baton strikes were justified even when King was on the ground, they determined that King had stopped fighting before the officers stopped using their batons.

This was hardly a clear cut case of officers abusing a suspect. The whole incident involving King was much more complicated than the very short video clip most people have seen. The controversy was not about whether the officers were justified in using the taser, or the baton strikes, and other control techniques, but rather the controversy was over whether the strikes continued beyond the time when King had stopped fighting the officers. The prosecution in both cases did not present a case that the officers were not justified in striking King at all, but rather that they did not stop striking King soon enough. The state and federal juries disagreed on that point.

BTW, there were three other people in that car with King. Without doing an internet search does anyone know their names? That's a rhetorical question, because if people are honest about it, they don't know their names from memory. Do you know why you don't know their names? Because they complied with the lawful instructions of the officers who made a lawful traffic stop. By complying all of those men avoided any violence or injury whatsoever.

Just some food for thought.

Elmer
May 30, 2005, 12:48 AM
As long as we're asking questions,

With all the baton strikes from PR-24 batons, that are capable of breaking bones with very little effort, how many broken bones did Rodney King have?

One.

Cheek bone from falling down after one of the two times he was Taser'ed. He was Taser'ed twice after charging officers, who at gunpoint, ordered him to the ground.

He pulled the darts from his chest, and screaming, continued to resist. He gave all the appearance of being high on PCP.

King was only struck with soft tissue hits, designed to make him comply, and give up.

The officers should have shot him. They would probably still be working today.

And you are exactly right about the passengers.

As to the double jeopardy. How often have you seen this tactic employed against regular citizens?

Tory
May 30, 2005, 12:54 AM
The first incident, flashlight-on-cleavage, is clearly an "iffy" situation. However, a pattern clearly - and rapidly - emerges:

"Alterio also served a 60-day suspension after his arrest in New Britain for allegedly violating a court order that barred him from contacting a former girlfriend. The woman told police he choked her during the incident.

Alterio was stripped of his gun in 2003 because of another protective order against him. It was imposed after he was arrested for allegedly harassing and stalking a former girlfriend in Stamford.

Why is someone who:

1. Has a history of violence against women; and

2. Who violated a court order still a cop?

Bully-boy seems to be insecure about something....... :scrutiny:

Zundfolge
May 30, 2005, 12:55 AM
Memorial day is meant to remember the SOLDIERS who died fighting in past and current wars. SOLDIERS, not LEO'S

Vernal45 is correct. May 15th is Peace Officers' Memorial Day, not Monday.

Vernal45
May 30, 2005, 12:59 AM
With all the baton strikes from PR-24 batons, that are capable of breaking bones with very little effort, how many broken bones did Rodney King have?

Which officer was it that failed the baton certification, prior to going on shift that night?

DMF
May 30, 2005, 01:21 AM
How often have you seen this tactic employed against regular citizens? Rare, but it happens. It was used repeatedly during the 60s in cases where white defendants were acquitted of crimes against black victims. The two most recent examples of this were Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. Both were convicted on federal murder charges, then were tried and convicted again in OK state.

DMF
May 30, 2005, 01:22 AM
Which officer was it that failed the baton certification, prior to going on shift that night? You know Vernal I don't remember which cop it was, but IIRC he failed because the evaluator said he was not hitting hard enough, not because he did anything related to improper judgement in use of the baton.

Byron Quick
May 30, 2005, 01:52 AM
Federal and state charges for the same crime are not that rare. I know of several cases personally. And I haven't gone looking for examples.

Personally, I think that it is double jeopardy.

gunsmith
May 30, 2005, 02:23 AM
anyway,having been on the recieving end of 3 false accusations myself I will give the cop the benifit of the doubt.
especially with the first flashight incident,women criminals who get in trouble always claim sexual harrasment.
criminals often feel that the baton is unfair,they have been coddled and gotten away with their devious behavior for so long they think it's their right...

DMF
May 30, 2005, 02:28 AM
Byron, I beg to differ. As I said it happens, but it is not a common event. AUSAs will regularly turn down cases if they know a state or county prosecutor is already pursuing the same charge under state law. What is common is someone getting charged in both federal and state court, based on different charges related to the same criminal activity. For example, it's rare that someone will get jammed on a felon in possession case in both fed and state court. Usually it goes fed, but if the county or state want it's unlikely the feds will bring the federal charge too, because it is essentially the same charge.

What you will often see is someone getting some charges brought by the state, and other different charges broght by the feds. Such as a prior felon getting a busted while commiting an assault with a deadly weapon (gun), and being charged in state court on the state charge of assault, but charged in federal court of being a felon in possession of a firearm - two substantially different crimes, despite being related to the same arrest.

Regardless, even if the charges are essentially the same at fed and state level it is not double jeopardy, because it is not the same government trying the individual, but rather two separate governments. All those that support the concept of state's rights should support this idea, because essentially it says the states are free to enforce their own laws as they see fit, and the feds enforce their laws as they see fit. Other than the rare exception of a state crime being committed in an area of exclusive federal jurisdiction, and charges brough under the Assimilative Crimes Act, the federal government cannot prosecute for state crimes.

Elmer
May 30, 2005, 01:54 PM
Vernal45 is correct. May 15th is Peace Officers' Memorial Day, not Monday.

I have a calendar, and I'm more familiar than most with the purpose of Memorial Day. If after reading Vernal's hate posts, if I also choose to think of Peace Officer's who have given their lives, that's my prerogative.

My first post was in support of something Vernal said:

Different laws for LEO's.

I couldn't agree more. The law is much tougher on cops. And the rarity of double jeopardy makes my point.

Vernal45
May 30, 2005, 01:57 PM
I couldn't agree more. The law is much tougher on cops. And the rarity of double jeopardy makes my point.


Lets say this again, IT WAS NOT DOUBLE JEOPARDY.


And there is a different set of laws for LEO's. If it was like you say, tougher, we would not be talking about incidents like this.

Elmer
May 30, 2005, 02:00 PM
And there is a different set of laws for LEO's. If it was like you say, tougher, we would not be talking about incidents like this.

I have a feeling you talk about a lot of non-existent things.......

Gotta go now, I hear someone calling from my planet......

Vernal45
May 30, 2005, 02:24 PM
Gotta go now, I hear someone calling from my planet......

Have fun on your planet, were the laws are tougher on cops. Hope you have your rose colored glasses with you. :neener:

Coronach
May 30, 2005, 05:06 PM
The laws are the same, but the pratical ramifications are actually often much harder on the police. For instance, name me another job where you would be fired as a matter of course for a domestic violence or DUI conviction, or practically any felony. Sure, you might be fired if it happened at work, but if anything happened on your own time and the punishment for it did not interfere with your attendance at work, no one would care. A cop is done.

I'm not saying this is a bad thing, or an unfair thing. Being held to a higher standard is good, given what cops do. It is, however, laughable to assert that "the law" is somehow easier on the cops.

Mike

Elmer
May 30, 2005, 05:21 PM
The laws are the same, but the pratical ramifications are actually often much harder on the police. For instance, name me another job where you would be fired as a matter of course for a domestic violence or DUI conviction, or practically any felony. Sure, you might be fired if it happened at work, but if anything happened on your own time and the punishment for it did not interfere with your attendance at work, no one would care. A cop is done.

I'm not saying this is a bad thing, or an unfair thing. Being held to a higher standard is good, given what cops do. It is, however, laughable to assert that "the law" is somehow easier on the cops.

Mike

Thanks Mike. As one who has lived it, I can confirm you are exactly right. When cops are charged, they always use the top prosecutors, and spare no expense. I understand some of the reasons, but make no mistake, I worked with guys that were charged and convicted when no civillian ever would be. In one case the cop was tried 3 times.

There are abuses of power. But generalizing, and lumping all cops together is what helps perpetuate the "Them vs Us" mentality that some cops have.

R.H. Lee
May 30, 2005, 08:32 PM
For instance, name me another job where you would be fired as a matter of course for a domestic violence or DUI conviction, or practically any felony Uhhhh.......... how about a truck driver or route driver or anybody who drives a company vehicle for a living? A DUI will most assuredly cost you your job. The California Department of Real Estate will pull your license for a felony conviction, as will the Dept of Insurance. No license, you don't work. How is that different than being fired? Those are only two examples off the top of my head. You may want to retract that statement, as it's obviously not true.

Coronach
May 30, 2005, 09:04 PM
No, I'll stand by it, as these jobs are the exception and not the rule. You've named a few, and I'm sure there are a few more. My point remains.

Also, how many of those jobs are ones in which you are assured of being fired for all of those things (and several more), not just one of them, and not just one if your employer finds out? Cops will get fired for every one of those, and the administration automatically knows, every time.

Again, I'm not saying this is a bad thing, or that it is unfair. I'm just stating that the law certainly does not go easier on the police like some people think it does. It often goes quite a bit harder.

Mike

Coronach
May 30, 2005, 09:07 PM
Also, a DUI will not cost you your job in most cases, even if you drive company-owned vehicles. Nearly every state offers occupational driving privs (with restrictions) to people charged with and even convicted of DUI. The vast majority of employers don't care whether your driving status is "valid" or "valid with restrictions" as long as you're legally allowed to drive. They also usually have NO way of knowing what you have been charged with or convicted of.

Mike

R.H. Lee
May 30, 2005, 10:27 PM
The vast majority of employers don't care whether your driving status is "valid" or "valid with restrictions" as long as you're legally allowed to drive. They also usually have NO way of knowing what you have been charged with or convicted of.
They do care what their insurance costs are. And they care about future liability. They most assuredly will know that one of their drivers has been convicted of DUI. DMV will be notified of the conviction by the court. The insurers check DMV records of their insured on a regular basis. The insurer could opt to drop coverage for the driver, but most likely would impose a considerably increased premium on the employer, who will fire the driver.

The officer who is the subject of this thread exhibited a pattern of bad behavior. I don't understand why you feel the need to 'run interference' for him. I would think you'd be first in line to clean up the ranks and get rid of bad actors.

Elmer
May 30, 2005, 10:41 PM
Well Riley,

Since I'm the one who started this, you might want to read all the posts. I was responding to a quote from someone else:


Why the long gap?



Different laws for LEO's.

I do want to keep law enforcement clean, and I have arrested other police officers.

My point was that cops are routinely treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than the public.

Adding to Mike's posts, cops are frequently fired for any conviction, even misdemeanors. Even if you are found not guilty, the administration will usually find a way to get rid of you down the road.

Coronach
May 31, 2005, 12:12 AM
They do care what their insurance costs are. And they care about future liability. They most assuredly will know that one of their drivers has been convicted of DUI. DMV will be notified of the conviction by the court. The insurers check DMV records of their insured on a regular basis. The insurer could opt to drop coverage for the driver, but most likely would impose a considerably increased premium on the employer, who will fire the driver.We're now getting pretty far afield from "certainly fired for a DUI conviction" when we're talking about someone maybe getting fired if the insurance finds out (they do not routinely run the driving records of policy holders, though they might scrutinize business accounts more closely than individual ones) and if the rates go up and if there is no option for ameliorating the effect of the increased rates and if there is no other option for transportation and if there is no other work the employee can perform. DUIs can have consequences for anyone. For cops they're pretty immediate and certain. For most other people the consequences for employment are less certain and less severe.The officer who is the subject of this thread exhibited a pattern of bad behavior. I don't understand why you feel the need to 'run interference' for him. I would think you'd be first in line to clean up the ranks and get rid of bad actors.Hahaha! And where from my reply do you get that idea? You might want to reread the whole thread. This cat needed to go. What I have "objected" to was subsequent assertions that the law goes easier on the police. Nothing more, nothing less.

Mike

hammer4nc
May 31, 2005, 09:04 AM
My point was that cops are routinely treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than the public.
How about, as Paul Harvey says...":the rest of the story"? Why are cops conveniently omitting mention about how difficult it is for a cop to get into the criminal justice system in the first place? How about a detailed discussion of the current practice of "professional courtesy"? I.e., suspect drunk cop gets a free ride home, or phone call to family member to get picked up, rather than FST.

Tune into any leo discussion forum; how many cops openly admit they'll NEVER cite a fellow leo? An expected perk of the job. Most are INDIGNANT at the prospect of being charged with any but hte most serious offenses.

PC doesn't exist, you say? NOW we're getting into solid tinfoil teritory!

Elmer
May 31, 2005, 12:56 PM
Tune into any leo discussion forum; how many cops openly admit they'll NEVER cite a fellow leo? An expected perk of the job. Most are INDIGNANT at the prospect of being charged with any but hte most serious offenses.

Pretty common in the past for lesser offenses.. It was hard to wreck the life of someone who risked their life to save others. Same policy was usually applied to firefighters, nurses, and servicemen. Although I saw plenty of arrests of cops, even back in the day. I also got several citations.

Today, not as common. In most states, if you get caught not making an arrest, not only will you be fired, you may be subject to prosection for it.

Coronach
May 31, 2005, 01:42 PM
How about, as Paul Harvey says...":the rest of the story"? Why are cops conveniently omitting mention about how difficult it is for a cop to get into the criminal justice system in the first place? How about a detailed discussion of the current practice of "professional courtesy"? I.e., suspect drunk cop gets a free ride home, or phone call to family member to get picked up, rather than FST.

Tune into any leo discussion forum; how many cops openly admit they'll NEVER cite a fellow leo? An expected perk of the job. Most are INDIGNANT at the prospect of being charged with any but hte most serious offenses.

PC doesn't exist, you say? NOW we're getting into solid tinfoil teritory!This might still be true for the most minor of offenses, though I know plenty of cops who have gotten citations for traffic offenses, FOP plates be damned. It is a lot less true for DUI, at least around here. I know two officers who wish it was more common. :rolleyes:

For major offenses? Forget it. Try getting a cop out of a DV without putting your own job on the line. Sorry, that ain't gonna happen. Might still occur in isolated instances, but so does bribery and other forms of corruption, which is what that would be.

Mike

roo_ster
May 31, 2005, 01:46 PM
Jason Alterio, Mr. 3 Strikes/4 Years
I suspect any decent street cop will have multiple complaints filed against him if he's doing his job. Manhandling & arresting people has a tendency to cause no small bit of anger on the part of the manhandled. Any accusations ought to be investigated pronto. If true & egregious enough, cop-boy gets to find employment elsewhere. If untrue, cop-boy gets his name cleared.

Mr. Alterio seems to have had more than just a few complaints from disgruntled "clients," however. Multiple restraining orders from multiple gals for one (or two) thing(s). Even if they are all bogus, the guy needs to exercise better judgement when it comes to his women. Firing him for excessive knuckleheadedness ought to be an option.

Double (& Triple!) Jeapordy
I have serious problems with this one, both for cops & non-cops. Yes the SCOTUS ruled charges from different levels of gov't for the same act are not DJ. That doesn't make it right. The practical effect is still double jeapordy. This includes the creative application of law: construing a murder or battery as a civil rights violation falls into this category (see Rodney King mess & GHWB's statement to do such to the cops involved with RK).

The various governmental bodies need to get their heads together to see who extracts the pound of flesh, with the presumption that the lowest level of gov't has the first/primary claim to try the accused.

When I was in the service, I was informed that I could be tried under the UCMJ for acts I had already been tried for in civilian court. So, I presume that service members could get reamed by the state, the federales, as well as by the UCMJ. Thus, practical "triple" jeapordy.

Losing Job b/c of DUI, Felony, etc.
I have one of those kinds of jobs.

Cops Treatment as "Clients" in Criminal Justice System
As far as cops' treatment by the criminal justice system, the end punishment and/or treatment in the system seems harsher (in many cases) but the bar for entry is higher, from what I have observed.

An example would be the cop ("Mr. Prickly*") who administers a serious walloping on "Joe Schmoe*" who had dumb luck to be caught in the wrong place (near a particular prickly cop) and the lack of judgement not to be properly deferential to this particular cop. Well, Mr. Prickly gives Joe Schmoe a thumping that lands him in the hospital. Mr. Prickly's buddies arrive on scene and are somewhat appalled by Prickly's behavior, as they are basically decent fellows & not sadists. "You pasted him for what!?" Luckily, Prickly's cop buddy finds a joint on Joe Schmoe (yep, Schmoe sure ain't too bright, getting disrespectfully verbal with a LEO while packing wacky tobacky) so Schmoe can be charged with...something. That something can be used to explain away Mr. Schmoe's injuries, to the relief of all, or at least all the LEOs involved. Hey, it was obvious that he was resisting...whatever...to avoid going to the pokey for possesion of weed. You know how these kinds of folks are...

Now, if I or some other non-cop gave Joe Schmoe a thumping for no good reason, I don't think finding a joint in his pocket after the fact would get us off the hook.

* Names changeds to protect the...uh, well the names have been changed. :rolleyes:

rock jock
May 31, 2005, 02:01 PM
By complying all of those men avoided any violence or injury whatsoever. You forgot to mention the big fat settlement King got. Makes you wonder if he was as stupid as we thought.

Always looks good to show that the police are held to a "higher standard."
I think this is only partially correct. Certainly cops are subject to a higher standard in some cases, but how do you explain the recent shooting in Ca. involving multiple officers firing 129 rounds and hitting several homes of innocent bystanders, shooting one of their own, and striking the suspect four times? I really have a hard time believing that a private citizen could get away with this w/o being locked up.

rock jock
May 31, 2005, 02:08 PM
For instance, name me another job where you would be fired as a matter of course for a domestic violence or DUI conviction, or practically any felony.
Mike, most jobs I know of in the private sector would result in dismissal if convicted of even minor infractions. As an example, any of the local refineries or petrochemical plants, most medical or dentist practices I know of, all engineering firms, a few law firms, and most service companies that deal with the public would fire you immediately for DV or DUI.

Elmer
May 31, 2005, 03:18 PM
Mike, most jobs I know of in the private sector would result in dismissal if convicted of even minor infractions. As an example, any of the local refineries or petrochemical plants, most medical or dentist practices I know of, all engineering firms, a few law firms, and most service companies that deal with the public would fire you immediately for DV or DUI.

Sorry I don't buy it. I know of several individuals in the fields you name that have DUI's.

Vernal45
May 31, 2005, 03:28 PM
Interesting reading for Elmer.


SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/132014_dvprofiles23.html

Profiles of domestic violence cases involving police

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER STAFF

Michael Justice, 48, Tacoma police detective

Michael Justice spotted his former fiance in the bar of a Lakewood restaurant on Feb. 28, 1998, then waited for her in the parking lot.

As she hugged her friends goodbye, Justice, a Tacoma police officer, raced over in his pickup truck.

"I saw a red truck driving up like he was on a raid or something," said the 46-year-old woman, who asked not to be identified.

Justice punched her twice in the face, knocking her to the ground. He called her a bitch and a whore, picked her up by the throat and slammed her repeatedly against a wall, she said.

An Internal Affairs investigation largely agreed with her version of events.

The woman didn't call 911 that night.

"I figured because he was a police officer I'd be the one to get in trouble, not him," she said.

Justice didn't stop at the parking lot beating, she said.

During the next few days, he parked his patrol car outside her house and banged on her windows, shouting obscenities and threats.

He'd used the same tactics before. In early February, Justice kicked in the woman's front door when she refused to return the engagement ring they bought together, according to an Internal Affairs report.

In January, he walked into her house through an open garage door, she said. She struggled to push him away and lock her laundry room door. He grabbed her and she tried to knee him in the groin. When he bent down, she swung her arm around and broke his nose, the woman said.

One week before the assault in the parking lot, she broke off their engagement for good.

After that, Justice phoned her relentlessly -- 55 times in 34 days.

In March 1998, she filed a petition for a protection order and called Internal Affairs.

PRIOR PROBLEMS: Following the 1998 incident, another woman accused Justice of sexually assaulting her in December 1997. She said he ripped her blouse and fondled her breasts in his pickup truck, according to an Internal Affairs report.

Justice denied the allegations, saying the intimate contact was consensual. Internal Affairs investigators disagreed, concluding that the woman had been assaulted.

INVESTIGATION: In May 1998, Justice was charged with fourth-degree domestic violence assault in connection with the parking lot incident and telephone harassment. In lieu of jail time, he agreed to court-ordered conditions, including anger-management treatment and an alcohol information class. Two years later, the charge was dismissed.

DISCIPLINE: The Tacoma Police Department sustained the complaints against Justice, citing both abuse cases. The 17-year cop was suspended for 10 days without pay.

His ex-fiance isn't satisfied. "So what? He got a 10-day vacation," she said. "He should've been more severely punished, especially with the department knowing he's done this before," she said. "When is it all supposed to stop and women can feel safe?"

UPDATE: Justice, now a detective, could not be reached. Acting Tacoma police Chief Don Ramsdell said he is concerned about continuing to employ officers with Justice's history of domestic violence allegations. But once a complaint has been investigated and discipline meted out, it's unclear what the department can do now, he said. "We'll look and see if there's anything we can do to look at them."
Mark Sholtys, 36, Washington State Patrol trooper

Fuming after his wife refused to have sex around midnight on Oct. 20, 2002, Mark Sholtys punched her in the head while she held their daughter, she told police afterward.

She said she woke up their other daughter and asked her to call 911, but Sholtys grabbed the phone. His wife ran barefoot from their Moxee, Wash., home to neighbors, who called police.

It wasn't the first time Sholtys had been violent at home. The 13-year State Patrol trooper had abused and threatened his wife for eight years, she said in her written statement to police.

"I have wanted to call for help before, but Mark would take or break the phone (and) block the doorway," she said. He threatened to "make her life a living hell" if she ever reported the violence.

Despite the state's mandatory domestic violence arrest laws, Sholtys wasn't taken into custody. Instead, the on-duty Yakima County prosecutor and the responding sheriff's deputies agreed to file an incident report and have Sholtys spend the night elsewhere. Deputies watched as he packed up his gear for a planned Idaho hunting trip, placed his house key on the kitchen table and drove away.

"I felt it needed further investigation," said one of the deputies, Michael Hoffee.

Sholtys and his wife could not be reached for comment.

PRIOR PROBLEMS: Three weeks before the October incident, Sholtys' wife told his supervisor that he'd been verbally abusive. She was referred to the State Patrol psychologist.

INVESTIGATION: Sholtys was placed on administrative leave and charged with fourth-degree assault. The charge will be dismissed in two years if he complies with evaluations and recommended treatment. A no-contact order required Sholtys to stay away from his wife but was modified to allow him on-duty use of his service weapon.

DISCIPLINE: On Dec. 30, Sholtys agreed to a 30-day suspension. He was warned in writing that any other serious violations in the next two years would result in termination. He is now facing termination for failing to show up as a witness in a drunken-driving case, a State Patrol official said.

UPDATE: In February, a judge ruled that Sholtys had completed anger-management treatment. He returned to patrol duty on Dec. 26.
Peter Pieper, 39, Seattle police sergeant

Peter Pieper allegedly refused to let his date leave his Everett home on April 1, 2000. The Seattle police sergeant pinned her down for 30 minutes while she screamed and cried, according to a statement the woman gave investigators.

When asked whether Pieper sexually assaulted or raped her, she replied, "In a sort of small way."

The woman told investigators she was uncomfortable labeling the incident rape because she was dating Pieper and had voluntarily spent the night with him.

"I just remember telling him to stop. You know, 'Just stop, please stop,' " she said in her statement.

Pieper met the woman online. They started seeing each other in March 2000.

Pieper contacted her after the incident asking for his gun, which he had misplaced and later found.

She contacted Internal Affairs because she thought Pieper would blame her for stealing his gun, she said. But she was scared of him and didn't want to press charges.

"If he lost his job, his life would be over. ... If I'm responsible for it, maybe he would come after me. That was my fear about going on with the investigation," she said.

Pieper denied any wrongdoing. "I did not hold her down against her will," he said in an interview.

PRIOR PROBLEMS: Pieper admitted to investigators that he used a police computer to run the woman's name, looking for warrants or court orders.

INVESTIGATION: Seattle police referred the sexual assault and unlawful imprisonment complaints to the Everett Police Department in August 2000. "She fears retribution and just wants this to go away," Sgt. Ken Thiessen wrote in his report.

Snohomish County prosecutors declined to press charges and refused to comment about the case.

DISCIPLINE: Pieper was suspended for two days for personal use of a police computer. The internal investigation did not find enough evidence to sustain the sexual assault and unlawful imprisonment claims. Pieper said he was never placed on leave, and his gun and badge were not removed.

UPDATE: A Seattle officer since 1989, he is now working in the evidence unit.
Robert John Skola, 34, former Tacoma police officer

As a half-dozen police officers surrounded his Fife apartment, Robert Skola threatened to shoot anyone who tried coming in after him.

An hour earlier, on Oct. 15, 2002, Skola's wife called 911 from a nearby gas station. Deanna Skola said he threatened her, and was pulling out his gun as she left, according to the police report.

Skola told his wife he wasn't going to jail.

But the standoff didn't last long.

Within minutes, the 13-year Tacoma policeman agreed to surrender -- if he wasn't handcuffed. His breath smelled of alcohol and he appeared drunk, officers noted. They found his duty pistol on the living room floor and another gun on a bedside table.

He was taken to the local police station, where a Tacoma Police Department lieutenant was waiting. He took Skola's service weapon and assured Fife officers he wouldn't interfere with their criminal investigation.

The couple had made a pact to avoid alcohol. But that night, when Deanna Skola tried to keep him from drinking, he grabbed her by the chest and threw her to the ground, according to the police report.

"That's what my downfall has been -- alcohol," Skola said in an interview. His wife said the incident was overblown by local police, and that she called police only to get him the help he needed.

PRIOR PROBLEMS: The couple had a series of physical altercations in 2001, with Skola's wife being arrested twice. He obtained a protection order that summer, but canceled it after they both enrolled in counseling.

INVESTIGATION: After the October 2002 standoff, Skola was charged with fourth-degree assault, interfering with domestic violence reporting and obstructing an officer. The charges will be dismissed in two years if he meets court-ordered conditions, including an alcohol-treatment program.

DISCIPLINE: Skola was placed on paid administrative leave Oct. 16. His gun and badge, seized the night of his arrest, were never returned.

UPDATE: He resigned last month after he heard the department was planning to fire him. "Instead of giving them that opportunity," he said, "I decided to resign and go to another police department while I still can." His certification as an officer is under review, according to the state attorney general's office.

He and his wife remain married.
Gregory Patrick, 35, Redmond police officer

Leta Bakke's phone rang at least nine times in the hour before midnight on May 24, 1998.

When Bakke finally answered, the angry man on the line was her ex-husband, Gregory Patrick.

"Are you sleeping with Paul?" he demanded, according to her statement to police. "If you are I will kill you, and I will kill Paul."

That night, Bakke told police that Patrick, a Redmond patrolman, threatened to kill her and himself some 30 times during their nine-month separation. At the time of the latest alleged threats, their divorce had been final for a month.

When she first moved out with her 9-month-old daughter, Patrick talked about suicide, she said. Her new relationship sparked death threats.

Renton police arrested Patrick early the next day. Officers seized two handguns and a shotgun from his house.

PRIOR PROBLEMS: During their 2-year marriage, Patrick was prone to violent tantrums, kicking and breaking things, according to court papers.

INVESTIGATION: Patrick was initially charged with felony telephone harassment. The charge was reduced to a misdemeanor when Bakke refused to testify. If he lost his job, she worried he'd stop making $400-a-month child support payments, according to court records.

He was sentenced to probation for a year and ordered to receive anger-management counseling, if recommended. An internal investigation found no proof of wrongdoing.

A federal law prohibiting anyone convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor from possessing a firearm did not apply in Patrick's case because he pleaded guilty to "making basically an obscene telephone call," said Redmond City Attorney James Haney.

In response to inquiries by the P-I, the U.S. Attorney's Office is reviewing the case.

DISCIPLINE: None.

UPDATE: Patrick is currently a patrol officer and member of the department's SWAT team. He and Bakke declined comment.

1998-2005 Seattle Post-Intelligencer

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/printer2/index.asp?ploc=t&refer=http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/132014_dvprofiles23.html

Island Beretta
May 31, 2005, 03:31 PM
..well a CEO lost his job recently by having an affair with a staff member..2 consenting adults.. unfairly or fairly some professions/positions are held up to a higher standard..for obvious reasons..

Elmer
May 31, 2005, 03:35 PM
..well a CEO lost his job recently by having an affair with a staff member..2 consenting adults.. unfairly or fairly some professions/positions are held up to a higher standard..for obvious reasons..

Apples and oranges....

Putting your company at risk for a sexual harrassment suit is quite different from a DUI on your own time.

Elmer
May 31, 2005, 03:46 PM
How the DV cases were handled, even just a few years ago, are very different from today. You'd also have to get both sides of the situation. Funny how you'll take off the foil hat and believe the media when it suits you......

INVESTIGATION: In May 1998, Justice was charged with fourth-degree domestic violence assault in connection with the parking lot incident and telephone harassment. In lieu of jail time, he agreed to court-ordered conditions, including anger-management treatment and an alcohol information class. Two years later, the charge was dismissed.

DISCIPLINE: The Tacoma Police Department sustained the complaints against Justice, citing both abuse cases. The 17-year cop was suspended for 10 days without pay.

Sounds like he received pretty much an average sentence at the time, except for the 10 days without pay. Never happen in the private sector. That, and having the whole thing in the paper, with prejudice against the cops. Again, never happen in the private sector.

rock jock
May 31, 2005, 04:15 PM
Sorry I don't buy it. I know of several individuals in the fields you name that have DUI's. I don't care if you "buy it" or not, and I didn't say everybody was subject to the same rules, just most, as in the majority. The truth is that in the public sector, including police departments, it is much harder to fire someone than in the private sector.

Let's say you get arrested for DV (that is, assuming your buddies don't sweep it under the rug or convince your spouse to drop the charges). At least you get to go through a review process and remain on the job (probably still with your gun). If that happened to me, my boss could walk in the next day and fire me right off the bat, no discussion, no appeal. But, I forgot, you're held to a higher standard, right?

Again, never happen in the private sector.I don't think you have any idea of what its like to work in the private sector. You need to work my job before you talk. :D (couldn't help that one)

centac
May 31, 2005, 04:22 PM
"You need to work my job before you talk. (couldn't help that one)"

Doesn't that cut both ways?

Elmer
May 31, 2005, 04:26 PM
I work in the private sector...... Have for years......

So I've seen both sides of the fence.

I quit... Go back to cop bashing.... It'll make you feel good about yourself....

R.H. Lee
May 31, 2005, 04:35 PM
Elmer, it's already been pointed out that sanctions for DUI in the private sector can very well include termination-without the benefit of administrative review boards or union intervention extended to cops. And that the threshhold for 'getting caught' is lower in the private sector than among law enforcement.

That's hardly gratuitous bashing.

rock jock
May 31, 2005, 04:37 PM
Doesn't that cut both ways?
Yes, it does. Only I hear it from Internet cops everytime someone so much as questions a single incident in LE.

Go back to cop bashing.... It'll make you feel good about yourself.... There you go, pull out the old "cop-bashing" mantra anytime someone presents you with facts you can't dispute.

Guns_and_Labs
May 31, 2005, 05:05 PM
Let's say you get arrested for DV (that is, assuming your buddies don't sweep it under the rug or convince your spouse to drop the charges). At least you get to go through a review process and remain on the job (probably still with your gun). If that happened to me, my boss could walk in the next day and fire me right off the bat, no discussion, no appeal.

As was mentioned, let's compare apples to apples. In private sector employment, at least in CA, it's legally employment at will. That is, you can be fired for no reason whatsoever. But, you can easily appeal that you were fired for a reason, and that reason is "protected". I have worked for a company that fired a guy about the same time as the guy was handed his second TRO, hopefully to get him to quit beating his wife (who worked at the same company). He filed for wrongful discharge, and won.

On the other hand, police officers are not private sector employees. Most are best described as civil service. But they (and some firefighters) are the glaring exception to the employment safety of civil service. They can, explicitly, be terminated for offenses that no other civil servant can be.

Sure, they have a hearing process -- so does every one else, whether it be the civil service review board or the unemployment commission. The fact is that they can and are fired for less.

Vernal45
May 31, 2005, 05:07 PM
Welcome back Centac. Did a Coffee can search keep you away for a while? :neener:

rock jock
May 31, 2005, 05:24 PM
But, you can easily appeal that you were fired for a reason, and that reason is "protected".
That is simply not true. I think if you check that idea nationwide you'll find that it is extremely difficult to find legal grounds for getting a job back. Exceptions are those explicitly stated in the law, e.g., race, color, creed, gender, national orgin, vet status, and in some places, sexual orientation. Other than those, you are SOL 99.99% of the time.

The point remains, police officers are civil servents and, as such, are in fact afforded much more in the way of job protection than the average private sector person. I am not convinced that police officers face a "higher standard" legally speaking, and certainly not w/regard to job protection. Now, compared to the dregs they deal with on a daily basis, yes, they face a higher standard than those scum, but I think its safe to say that every law-abiding responsible citizen does also.

My own company policy lists as a reason for displinary action and or dismissal under Code of Conduct "Commission of a crime or other conduct that damages the image or reputation of the company." Period. End of story. No one in the company I currently work for has ever been dinged for this, but at my last company a guy got a DUI and was out the door the next week. No Board of Review. No union rep to help him out.

Guns_and_Labs
May 31, 2005, 05:33 PM
My own company policy lists as a reason for displinary action and or dismissal under Code of Conduct "Commission of a crime or other conduct that damages the image or reputation of the company." Period. End of story.

Texas is indeed a long way from California. That reason for dismissal is untenable in California.
I think if you check that idea nationwide you'll find that it is extremely difficult to find legal grounds for getting a job back.

First, I agree with you that "getting the job back" is not likely. It's getting a settlement and neutral reference.

Second, I do check the idea nationwide. I did the high risk terminations for a previous company (our HR department was a bit skittish), with nationwide and international operations. Some of these were real sleazoids, DV, hate crimes, definitely a danger to society. But unless they actually did the crime onsite, they frequently won on appeal. Pity we didn't have operations in Texas, I guess.

rock jock
May 31, 2005, 06:18 PM
I actually like the fact that employers have that kind of power. I don't want to work with pond scum anymore than they want to pay them.

Coronach
May 31, 2005, 06:23 PM
Elmer, it's already been pointed out that sanctions for DUI in the private sector can very well include termination-without the benefit of administrative review boards or union intervention extended to cops. And that the threshhold for 'getting caught' is lower in the private sector than among law enforcement.Can, but rarely do. Like Elmer, I know many people with jobs like Rock Jock stated that have convictions for DUI or DV, and some have felonies. This is because the decision to fire rests solely with the employer (As well it should), and is thus dependant upon their discretion and vigilance. The vast, overwhelming majority of the time someone can be criminally charged and ajudicated without the employer even knowing, and for your average job they don't have a team of background investigators running updated checks on current employees. Show up for work and no one is the wiser. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, but they're that- exceptions.

As to the civil service review/appeal process for public sector employees, that is true. However, most unionized jobs have similar processes (though perhaps with less 'teeth'). The point remains, however, and is valid, but is no more valid for cops than for any other civil service employee. In fact, it remains less so, perforce, because of the Lautenburg Amendment. No cop can have a DV conviction on his record, period, because he cannot carry a gun. AFAIK, there is no relief from disability for this. Furthermore, as Guns_and_labs pointed out, there are several other offenses that negate civil service protection.

As to Vernal45's list of cases, note the common thread in all of them: the charges were dismissed. This happens quite a bit in DV cases (for cops and non cops) because it is often a case of "he said, she said" with ambiguous physical evidence, and victims often fail to follow through with the cases in any event. Had those cases resulted in convictions, those officers would have to have been terminated. Now, if there is evidence of prosecutorial wrongdoing in going light on the officers as offenders, there might be a point to be made. Most of the time the opposite is true- the prosecutors go harder because the chief prosecutor likes his cushy job and elections are rarely far off.

Mike

rock jock
May 31, 2005, 06:48 PM
There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, but they're that- exceptions.
Mike, either you and I have totally opposite experiences or there are some pretty big geographical differences between us.

I have been in the private sector long enough to know that no one can keep a DV or DUI conviction, or any felony, secret for very long. Dosen't happen. Anything more than a speeding ticket will come out one way or another. Anything as serious as a DUI WILL result at a minimum in a talking to, and very possibly in dismissal. The ONLY exceptions I know are self-employed.

I work in a city of 100,000+ and can tell you the dirty laundry of most of the lawyers in town, all the politicians, the doctors, etc. When it comes to my own profession, I practically know the names of everyone's pet.

There was a local engineer who was busted for cocaine possession two years ago and lost his job shortly thereafter. Everyone knew about his situation days after the event and when he committed suicide, we knew the next day.

Coronach
May 31, 2005, 07:29 PM
Coke possession is a felony. I fully expect that this would be much more of a problem than a misdemenor DUI or DV. Likewise, any criminal conviction, especially felony convictions, can make it more difficult to obtain a job, as running criminal history checks prior to employment is fairly common. What is much less common are criminal history checks run after someone is employed. Can it happen? Sure. Can a conviction be used as grounds for a dismissal? Sure. It generally does not happen, though, in my experience. I know (and have arrested) plenty of people who work white collar jobs who have some entertaining criminal histories. They continue to be gainfully employed.

Mike

Guns_and_Labs
May 31, 2005, 07:44 PM
I know (and have arrested) plenty of people who work white collar jobs who have some entertaining criminal histories. They continue to be gainfully employed.

Along those lines, I know an accountant that has one felony conviction for embezzlement and one for fraud (witness for the prosecution, so I think it was dropped to a misdemeanor) -- and I'm told there's a DUI somewhere in there... still working as the general manager in the tourism industry. Handles all their money. Handles the time share sales operation, too, I think.

Not in Texas, though. :D

rock jock
May 31, 2005, 08:51 PM
Well, I would say that "those people" tend to be pretty well known in their circles for their checkered past. Very few reputable companies will employ them.

I would also say that one needs to carefully define "white collar." Even collection agecies fall into that category these days.
Handles the time share sales operation, too, I think.

Exactly my point.

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