Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Deputy Lt. Steve Ford Accused of Falsify TimeCard


The Porter County Sheriff's Department has suspended a deputy who they say was off doing unknown activities when he should have been supervising his crew of officers.

Lt. Steve Ford, a 13-year veteran of the department, received a seven-day suspension without pay.

Ford will not be demoted and will not be required to reimburse the county for pay he received for work he didn't perform, Sheriff David Lain said. But Lain said the suspension does cost Ford monetarily.

Lain said the allegations came to light a few weeks ago and the department "discovered there was a discrepancy between what his timecard showed and what was in fact the hours he worked."

Lain said there is no proof of what Ford was doing when he should have been supervising, but the bottom line is the department "wants to make sure our shift supervisors in particular are accessible to their crews' needs."

Deputy Dennis Walker Charged with Obscuring His License Plate


A Precinct 7 constable’s deputy who was assigned to the Toll Road Authority was fired and charged with obscuring his license plate after allegations surfaced that he had been driving on the Sam Houston Tollway without paying, authorities said Tuesday.

Harris County District Attorney spokeswoman Donna Hawkins said Dennis Walker was charged with a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $2,000 fine if convicted.

Walker, 45, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Investigators with the Harris County Toll Road Authority videotaped Walker stopping his personal vehicle at the southeast toll plaza on Jan. 21, court records show.

Walker can be seen taping a piece of paper over his license plate before going through the toll booth, Hawkins said.

About 90 officers are assigned to the 100 miles of Houston’s toll roads, said Assistant Chief Randy Johnson of the Harris County Precinct 5 Constable’s Office.

In July 2007, more than 1,000 county employees, including officers, lost the free EZ Tag privileges for their personal vehicles after agency officials reviewed the perk, Johnson said.

Precinct 7 spokeswoman Pamela Greenwood said Walker was terminated this week after eight years with the department.

Judge Curtissa Cofield Placed on Administrative Duties


A Connecticut judge charged with a DUI months ago has request she be placed on administrative duties pending the outcome of her judicial review hearing.

Hartford Superior Court Judge Curtissa Cofield was arrested in October after police said she struck a state trooper's cruiser with her car. The trooper was parked in a construction zone on Route 2 in Glastonbury.

A videotape was released earlier in the week that shows Cofield making racial remarks at the police station following her arrest.

On the videotape, Cofield, who is black, asked Sgt. Dwight Washington, who is also black, "if a Negro was sent to arrest a Negro." She also called herself the most intelligent person in the room.

When asked if she was drunk or sick, Cofield said she “was suffering from Negroitis.”

Previous Post: http://whathappenedtoprotectandserve.blogspot.com/2009/01/judge-curtissa-cofield-arrested-for-dui.html

Officer Joseph Houston Allegedly Urinates on Man at Concert


A Brewster police officer is on paid administrative leave after allegedly urinating on a fellow music-lover at a Metallica concert in Boston then refusing to leave TD Banknorth Garden when security guards ejected him for disorderly conduct.

A Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Transit Police report from that night identifies Brewster police Officer Joseph Houston, 29, as being thrown out of the Jan. 18 rock concert by security guards around 10 p.m.

Although he has been charged with trespassing only, Houston appeared to be drunk, flashed his badge in an attempt to get back into the concert, called a black MBTA officer an "Obama," and had been asked to leave the concert after he allegedly urinated on another patron, according to the report.

Citing an ongoing departmental investigation, Brewster Police Chief Richard Koch would not confirm the officer's identity but did confirm the incident occurred. He got word that Sunday night that an officer had been arrested, went to Boston the next day, Jan. 19, and immediately placed the officer on leave, he said.

Houston earned $50,456.35, including overtime and detail pay, in 2008, according to town records.

Attorney Thomas Drechsler, who, according to court records, is representing Houston, did not return two phone requests for comment yesterday.

Houston's Brewster phone number is unlisted, and he was not at home last night.

After he was ejected from the concert, Houston allegedly flashed his badge at the security officers and identified himself as a member of the Brewster Police Department. Transit police then approached Houston, who they said appeared to be drunk. The report stated they also smelled alcohol on his breath.

Transit police warned Houston that he would have to leave or face arrest for trespassing. Houston again allegedly reached into his pocket and showed the transit police officers his badge, but was told that he had to leave or face arrest.

Transit police took Houston outside the Garden, and told him not to return or he'd face trespassing charges.

"At which time, Houston stated 'Look at Obama,' which was directed at me in a loud disorderly manner to patrons standing outside as well as entering the lobby," the transit police officer wrote in the report.

When Houston again attempted to enter the Garden, he was arrested by the transit police after a brief struggle, the report said.

After the arrest, Garden security personnel then told transit police officers that Houston had been thrown out of the concert by them for urinating on another patron. The parents of that person went to transit police headquarters after the concert to report the incident. They were referred to the Boston police.

A Boston police spokeswoman said there was no record of any charges filed by her department against Houston. Suffolk County District Attorney's office spokesman Jake Wark said there were no charges filed against Houston beyond trespassing, which carries a maximum $100 fine and/or 30 days in jail. Houston is due back in court on Feb. 5 on that charge, Wark said.

But Wark said the victim could file charges at Boston Municipal Court, where a clerk-magistrate hearing would determine the need for a trial. Those charges would not be public until after the hearing.

Koch said he would complete his investigation within the next day or two. If he believes more than a five-day suspension is warranted, he will take the case before the Brewster selectmen, who are the hiring and firing authority for the department.

Houston has worked for Brewster for less than three years, Koch said. He worked for the Nantucket Police Department before that.

Nantucket Chief William Pittman said Houston had no incidents while employed in his department.

Police Report: http://www.capecodonline.com/misc/mbtareport26.pdf