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Archive for Sunday, June 24, 2012

Officers may face discipline at state level

June 24, 2012

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The state agency that licenses law enforcement officers is investigating whether to take disciplinary action against two former Lawrence police officers involved in a ticket-fixing scandal.

Earlier this year, the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training, or KSCPOST, received “notice of termination” forms from the Lawrence Police Department for former Sgts. Mike Monroe and Matt Sarna.

Such forms, required when an officer in the state leaves a department, prompted the commission to investigate the cases. The investigation could lead to license revocation, barring Monroe and Sarna from working in Kansas law enforcement.

The KSCPOST termination forms, obtained through a Journal-World open records request, state that Monroe was “terminated” on March 22, while Sarna left the department on Feb. 24 after an “involuntary negotiated resignation,” which means the officer “was offered the opportunity to resign to avoid potential disciplinary or adverse employment of legal action.”

The city refused to identify the two officers in the speeding ticket-fixing case, but District Attorney Charles Branson said in March that he reviewed court cases that Sarna and Monroe had been involved in after the city provided him their names in connection with the city’s personnel investigation.

Branson said prosecutors reviewed the FBI and department’s internal affairs report, which revealed that the KU tickets were provided to the officers and that the same officers fixed certain traffic tickets. But he said the timing and circumstances of the receipt of the athletic tickets could not be directly linked to specific requests for fixing traffic tickets, so his office elected not to file criminal charges of bribery or other offenses against Sarna or Monroe.

Monroe declined comment about the KSCPOST investigation but confirmed he was still going through the city’s grievance procedure related to his firing.

Gary Steed, KSCPOST director, said his agency was still in the “information gathering” phase of investigating both Monroe and Sarna. The termination forms do not go into further detail about Monroe or Sarna’s case.

Steed said his agency contacts the reporting police department for further information needed during its investigation.

The investigation can take several months, but if disciplinary action is taken, that information will be posted on the commission’s website, Steed said.

However, any actions taken by KSCPOST do not affect an officer’s retirement benefits through the Kansas Police and Fire Retirement System, commonly referred to as KP&F, said Kristen Basso, KP&F spokeswoman. Officers can opt for early disbursement at age 50, Basso said. Specific information for an officer’s individual retirement account from KP&F is not an open record, Basso said.

Cases on the rise

A review of posted cases shows disciplinary actions against officers in the state have risen in recent years. Between 2004 and 2008, KSCPOST issued a yearly average of five disciplinary actions. But since 2009, KSCPOST has taken at least a dozen actions per year, including 21 in 2011.

Under Kansas law, police licenses are revoked if an officer is convicted of felony or a misdemeanor conviction of domestic battery. Licenses can also be revoked for “moral character” violations, as well as for violations of police officer training standards.

Three Lawrence police officers have had their licenses revoked since 1998: Robert Sayler, who was convicted of wire fraud; Richard Jump, who was convicted of rape in Douglas County in 1999; and James W. Miller, convicted of battery in 1998.

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Actions taken against police in Kansas

A full listing of actions taken by the Kansas Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, which licenses law enforcement in the state.

Comments

smitty 1 year, 9 months ago

“One of the best ways to address it is to seek to foster

a culture

that has consequences for inappropriate action,” Corliss said last week. “That’s what we’re doing. Even though there’s not been a crime committed, we are taking serious action in regards to this.”

In other coverage by the JW Khatib is quoted on the ticket for tickets as police culture and professional courtesy.

Like it has been said before, our city manager, Corliss, is also part of the problem. But ya gotta give Khatib and Corliss credit for getting their story together for the press.

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smitty 1 year, 9 months ago

Our current chief of police, Khatib, was the head of the traffic unit at the time of these illegal acts. Khatib's traffic unit could not have done this without the knowledge and complicity of many in positions of power and apparently the complicity continues.

From the link provided JW 3/22/12

...The officer who resigned Feb. 24 asked the second officer — who was no longer employed by the city Thursday — two or three times for help in fixing a ticket. The officer who helped “may have been the beneficiary of KU tickets through the first employee,” according to a Feb. 24 statement Khatib provided about the investigation.

***(this is the indication that Khatib was involved)The other speeding tickets were fixed by asking officers who issued or were about to issue a ticket to void it or not issue it, but those officers did not knowingly receive anything in return, Khatib said....

This is the record of Khatib whom the city manager and commissioners picked to replace Olin, the chief who exited just prior to the YH trial and the inevitable investigation into the charges of corruption. Personnel issues are used to circumvent an open and honest evaluation of Olin, LPD, Khatib, city manager, and commissioners complicity.

dot....dot....dot....connect the dots

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm astounded that there are still apologists for these miscreants.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

I doubt these officers deserved to go. Who offered them up? The jayhawk ticket criminals... for what?

How many tickets get fixed for "important local people" ? Call in the FBI and let's clean house!

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 9 months ago

What happened to the officer who had a scheme going on at target with DVDs or something Ike that?

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Crazy_Larry 1 year, 9 months ago

Wow! That's a long list of rejects...I'm flabbergasted. I'm also glad they're no longer 'practicing' law enforcement. Good riddance! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-apRCG...

3

JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 9 months ago

It's a good thing Brownback's top priority is to reduce the footprint of state government...now cases like this will be ignored and the public interest therefore served...NOT!

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Steve Jacob 1 year, 9 months ago

Noticed Sarna got a job in real estate in an TV advertisement.

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smitty 1 year, 9 months ago

However, any actions taken by KSCPOST do not affect an officer’s retirement benefits through the Kansas Police and Fire Retirement System, commonly referred to as KP&F, said Kristen Basso, KP&F spokeswoman. Officers can opt for early disbursement at age 50, Basso said. Specific information for an officer’s individual retirement account from KP&F is not an open record, Basso said....

....The city refused to identify the two officers in the speeding ticket-fixing case, but District Attorney Charles Branson said in March that he reviewed court cases that Sarna and Monroe had been involved in after the city provided him their names in connection with the city’s personnel investigation.

Re: personnel issues...Same story different verse.....it was the personnel policy that a current sitting city commissioner cited when asked about the investigation of the LPD and Olin by an outside higher legal authority. This personnel policy allows the shakers and movers not discuss the issue of an investigation into Olin and the LPD because it was being handled as a personnel issued through the city manager's office.

Olin retired as did Sarna and several others before any investigation could expose whether or not there were legal problems with the LPD and city manager's actions. Pass go and collect your retirement no matter the actions committed.

Lawrence needs a method that circumvents the city commissioners and manager to get to the truth about the LPD be it CRB or grand jury petitions.

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smitty 1 year, 9 months ago

JW Archive for Tuesday, February 25, 2003 Drug cop blames conspiracy

In his letter to Olin, Peck wrote that in December he and a confidential informant learned an out-of-town drug ring had set up shop in Lawrence.

Peck told Olin that shortly after he filed a Dec. 18 memo about the ring with his superiors and the department's drug enforcement unit, the drug operation suddenly and inexplicably folded.

"Almost immediately after filing the memo ... my informant advised me that the members of the drug ring came to him and told him that they knew of the police investigation," Peck wrote in the memo to the department's internal affairs office.

The informant, Peck wrote, said he was told the drug ring had people inside its hometown police department and the Lawrence Police Department.

Shortly after reporting the possible leak to internal affairs, Peck wrote that he "became the focus of the internal investigation which has now led to my termination."

Olin is expected to deny Peck's interpretation of events.

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lgreen17 1 year, 9 months ago

What about Mike Peck?

From the LJ-World, February 11, 2003: Peck, 38, was put on administrative leave with pay early last month amid reports of possible misconduct. He was suspended without pay Jan. 30, six days after Douglas County District Judge Michael Malone ruled Peck supplied false and misleading information in an affidavit used to obtain a search warrant in 2001.

Guess these charges weren't severe enough to have his license revoked (?)

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smitty 1 year, 9 months ago

Where's Miller for domestic violence, aka misdemeanor battery?

By Chris Koger — Lawrence Journal-World November 3, 1998

Officer James W. Miller hasn't been on duty since Aug. 19, when his daughter reported he punished her with a board. Miller, 36, was sentenced to a year's probation on Sept. 15 for misdemeanor battery.

Where's the female LPD officer let go recently after a DUI arrest by the KHP?

1

pace 1 year, 9 months ago

I don't want it to be normal for the police to receive bribes to fix tickets. In no way do I think it is normal. I think it is crooked If it is common practice, then the culture is corrupt. Then clean up the department. I don't think it is normal for the police to take bribes to fix tickets, or to be drunk on duty, or to commit other crimes. I do think it is telling that an opponent of a citizens review process thinks it is normal. We need a citizen's review board.
That does not mean i think the officers should go to prison, it depends on what hasn't been reported.
I think the entire department should have a outside review of their practices. Too many have been caught and not jailed for real offenses, It was deemed too embarrassing for the department and for the good of the department , issues not pressed. If your son was caught beating a woman or stealing from a home, would his offer be, just quit your job and we won't pursue the case?

2

shortone 1 year, 9 months ago

LJW must have incorrectly stated last week that Sgt. Sarna was a police spokesman when reporting on daily crime activities. This was printed maybe Wednesday or Thursday of last week?

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Lawrenceks 1 year, 9 months ago

With the number of years of service and these two Officers experience I say suspend them for thirty days without pay and put them back on the force!

With what it cost to train new Officers and retain them this was not a smart move on the City Managers part!!

Everyone I talk to say these two Officers were well liked and respected in the community!

Good job Mr. City Manager! How many contracts have you awarded or favors have you received while in Office?

1

introversion 1 year, 9 months ago

George and Shaun,

Why don't we see good old Mike Peck on our list of officers who went astray? I believe he was let go in '03. Badge number 0007 if I recall properly... he was a clown anyway.

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reality_check79 1 year, 9 months ago

This is stupid... Get these officers back on the force!!! Who cares??? Show me one cop anywhere that hasn't fixed a ticket, received a discount, free meal, beer, tickets, or anything else... You can't!!!

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deec 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm sure that drug dealers and other criminals will be relieved to know that bribing police officers is okay with the criminal justice system in Douglas County.

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Number_1_Grandma 1 year, 9 months ago

I have been an advocate for citizens review committee and believe whole heartedly that these two young Lawrence grown officers were thrown to the wolves.

The chief of police has been involved but he isn't disciplined or fired. Definite double standard here. These two young officers would benefit from a citizens review committee. The 'facts' would show what they did was nothing new that 'other' officers haven't done and weren't done for basketball tickets either. Wrong, yes. Criminal, no. Has most of the police force done the same, yes!

Two fine officers who were sacrificed for the sake of an 'offering' for peace, for the police. Just like animals, kill your own here.

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GUMnNUTS 1 year, 9 months ago

Save some money, let it go.

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