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Archive for Friday, October 9, 1998

S FATE UNCLEAR

October 9, 1998

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City officials are considering the future of a Lawrence police officer convicted of battery, and are taking into account state laws that suggest he could lose his license.

A Lawrence police officer convicted of hitting his daughter on the buttocks with a board remains on paid administrative leave while authorities decide his future with the department.

James W. Miller, 36, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery Sept. 15 and was sentenced to 12 months probation. He has been on administrative leave since the incident was reported Aug. 19.

Police Chief Ron Olin said he can't speak about personnel issues relating to the 12nited Methodist Church.

They recorded their Christmas concert last year, Cris said, but the recording turned out poorly.

``So many people wanted a copy of it,'' Cris saihecking Kansas statutes and how they might affect Miller's ability to remain a law enforcement officer.

According to state statutes, the Kansas Training Commission ``shall immediately institute proceedings to revoke the certification of any police officer'' convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. The commission licenses police officers and can revoke their certification.

``The city is looking into that issue,'' Wildgen said Thursday. ``We don't have definitive research done on it yet, but it's something we're looking at.''

Darrell Wilson, a former sheriff in Saline County and the head of the training commission, was unavailable for comment Thursday. The commission's attorney, Mike Gillespie, was also unavailable.

Wildgen said it's unknown when a decision on Miller will be made.

``I would hope in the next month or so. I haven't received a definite recommendation on that from the chief of police.''

Mary Horsch, spokeswoman for the Kansas Attorney General's office, said any officer convicted of domestic violence will lose his or her law enforcement certificate based on Kansas laws, although she would not discuss Miller's case specifically.

State law, she said, prevents anyone convicted of misdemeanor battery against a family member or household member from carrying a gun.

``It's our understanding that's a disqualifying factor'' from having a law enforcement certificate, Horsch said. ``I wouldn't want to speak about a specific case, but if he is convicted of a domestic felony or misdemeanor, that statute fits the case. I'm told that it's a domestic violence related conviction if it's in the home or in regards to a family member.''

Domestic battery refers to battery against a family or household member by a family or household member, according to statutes. Family or household members include ``persons 18 years of age or older'' who are spouses and children and persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past.

According to an affidavit filed by Douglas County Sheriff's Det. Greg Smith, Miller slapped his 15-year-old daughter on Aug. 19, causing the girl's lip to swell. Miller then grabbed his daughter's hair by ``both sides and pulled her by the hair up from the chair in which she had been sitting.''

Smith, who investigated the report, also said Miller pulled his daughter to the ground and spanked her ``very hard'' several times with his hand.

Miller then left the room, and returned with a 2-foot board that was 3 inches wide with a depth of or misdemeanor, that statute fits the case. I'm told that it's a domestic violence related conviction if it's in the home or in regards to a family member.''

Domestic battery refers to battery against a family or household member by a family or household member, according to statutes. Family or household members include ``persons 18 years of age or older'' who are spouses and children and persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past.

According to an affidavit filed by Douglas Countparty his daughter had five days earlier, according to the affidavit.

In accepting Miller's plea, Douglas County District Judge Jack Murphy ordered him to take anger management classes and counseling, and pay for counseling for his daughter.

-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is ckoger@ljworld.com.

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