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  • Mesa police suspends 2 officers

    Mesa police suspends 2 officers involved in planning sport event

    Senta Scarborough
    The Arizona Republic
    Sept. 2, 2007 12:00 AM
    The Mesa Police Department has suspended two officers involved in the planning of a national amateur sporting event for police and firefighters but has not told either why they are under investigation.

    The department has also declined to release information to the media about the probe.

    A lawyer for Cmdr. Dave Ashe, who was told he is under investigation for "unsatisfactory performance" for his role in the coordination of October's non-profit Western States Police and Fire Games, said he expects the issue to be resolved soon.

    Ashe, a 30-year veteran, was suspended and placed on paid leave July 13 as part of an internal-affairs probe by the department.

    "We are in negotiations with the city and hoping it will lead to a quick conclusion," his attorney, Kent Komadina, said this week.

    Two organizations connected to the games said they have been questioned by investigators about how sponsorships were solicited.

    Holly Hosac, Mesa Police Department spokeswoman, said the department is working on an agreement involving Ashe's retirement. If he retires, his part of the probe will no longer be pursued.

    Police have provided a few records connected to the case but declined to provide other documents requested by The Arizona Republic, including correspondence about the games and financial records.

    Justin Pierce, an attorney for Ford and Harrison, a firm hired by the department to handle the probe, denied The Republic's request in an Aug. 27 letter, saying that providing the records would "undermine the City's ongoing investigation into the alleged misconduct, chill witnesses' participation, and strike a devastating blow against the public employer's responsibility to fully investigate allegations of misconduct involving its employees."

    Mesa police Detective Coy Johnston, who was supervised by Ashe, was also suspended July 13, for "unsatisfactory performance" involving his role in organizing the games. Johnston left the department at the end of July in an previously scheduled retirement.


    Johnston is the director of the Mesa Police Fire Athletic Association, a non-profit group that, along with the Mesa Visitors & Convention Bureau, is hosting the games.

    "From the time I was suspended, I was never told why," Johnston told The Republic this week. "It's my understanding that the investigation that was conducted against me was completed and I was cleared of any wrong doing. After investigating the alleged complaint, I was immediately brought back to work on the police and fire games and have the chief's full support."

    He said he had never been interviewed and the investigators seem to be "just fishing" for something wrong.

    Chief George Gascón was out of town and unavailable for comment.
    WTF!?!? They will drop the investigation if he retires? Correct me if I'm wrong (which because I don't have all of the facts, don't know how the inner workings of PD are conducted and don't know how the laws work in this kind of thing I might just be way off base), but it seems as if they are trying to "force" this guy into retirement, perhaps for budget reasons?
    R.I.P. Sgt. 1st Class Raymond J. Munden

    You're service and sacrifice will not be forgotten.

    Kieth M.
    I once knew a guy who said, "I'll step over any nine to get to three threes!"

    I knew at that precise moment that he and I would never get into a fistfight over a woman.

  • #2
    Originally posted by katzeyze View Post
    WTF!?!? They will drop the investigation if he retires? Correct me if I'm wrong (which because I don't have all of the facts, don't know how the inner workings of PD are conducted and don't know how the laws work in this kind of thing I might just be way off base), but it seems as if they are trying to "force" this guy into retirement, perhaps for budget reasons?
    Maybe, maybe not. What the article said was, "If he retires, his part of the probe will no longer be pursued."

    One of the purposes of an internal affairs investigation is to determine if conduct took place that warrants punishment. Of the two parties involved, one has already retired. If the other retires, there is no point in continuing the investigation because even if the allegation is sustained as true, you can't compel someone who no longer works there to talk to the investigator, nor can you fire or suspend them. Under the circumstances there is no point in continuing the investigation. This is not uncommon.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

    Comment


    • #3
      That seems a strange reason for an investigation. Most agencies I am familiar with are fighting tooth and nail to sponsor similar events in their regions. The old California Police Olympics (now the Summer Games), the International Police/Fire Summer Games, etc. My gracious! The prestige, camaraderie, etc. offer an agency the opportunity to expand its picture in the field of law enforcement and to help benefit the communities in the region financially. Whew, big bucks pour in!!!! Too bad for Mesa. That is a blight on their reputatiion. IMHO
      Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

      [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by sam I am
        Okay I am not LE, so maybe this is why I don't know?

        What did the officer actually do wrong? I thought these events are for fun and to raise money for a non profit group?

        I don't like to trust any of what the papers say.. ever, so its always hard to tell what is truth and fiction, when these things happen.

        Are the trying to say he stole money? or fixed some event? I am a bit lost..

        Any help?
        Unfortunately, the article doesn't say what the specific allegation was - it just alludes to unsatisfactory performance, so your guess is as good as mine.

        I have seen this before in my own agency and it too, turned out to be a BS complaint. In that matter, a disgruntled dispatcher falsely alleged that a watch commander took all but one of his units out of the field to plan a major sporting event the department was involved in and refused to free up any units when the sole patrol car on the street called for back up.

        Turned out only one car was taken off the street to help and no one called for back up. Much a do about nothing. But, because a complain was made it had to be investigated.
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

        Comment

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