Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater officers reprimanded for failing to report colleague suspected of DUI

CLEARWATER — Two police sergeants accused this winter of driving home a colleague suspected of driving drunk and failing to report the incident to superiors will receive written reprimands instead of suspensions.

The Clearwater Police Department's command staff had recommended one-day suspensions for Sgts. David Young and Sean Allaster, pending a review by the city's human resources department.

Human resources director Joe Roseto, City Manager Bill Horne and police Chief Tony Holloway decided Friday that letters of reprimand were more appropriate, given the officers' lengthy histories of 24 years on the force without prior disciplinary action, said city spokeswoman Joelle Castelli.

The penalty includes a two-year ban on promotions, transfers or special assignments for the pair, she said.

The disciplinary action stems from a Jan. 23 incident in which police received multiple calls about a drunken driver stumbling out of the Brown Boxer Pub & Grille on Clearwater Beach, then later swerving on Clearwater Memorial Causeway and nearly hitting a taxi.

Internal affairs records say Young and Allaster pulled over the motorist, off-duty Clearwater Officer Nicholas Capogna. They did not conduct a field sobriety test, which are currently left to the discretion of officers who sometimes opt to call cabs for impaired drivers.

As a result of the "mistakes" in this case, Holloway said last week, he is drafting a policy requiring officers to conduct sobriety tests on all suspected drunk motorists and report any city employees they stop for impaired driving.

Castelli said city leaders upheld the five-day suspension recommended for Capogna, who was hired in 2008 and had previously been investigated for damaging his patrol car. Capogna's punishment also will require random drug and alcohol testing for an unspecified period, counseling and revoked use of his take-home patrol car for a year.

Keyonna Summers can be reached at ksummers@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4153. To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.

Clearwater officers reprimanded for failing to report colleague suspected of DUI 05/05/14 [Last modified: Monday, May 5, 2014 10:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays waste repeated opportunities in 5-3 loss to Blue Jays

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Rays manager Kevin Cash made a case for urgency before Thursday's game, in both actions and words, making significant changes to the structure of the lineup and sincere comments about time running short.

    Trevor Plouffe of the Rays reacts as he pops out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. [Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]
  2. Spanish PM voices solidarity with Barcelona

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says his country is mourning in solidarity with the city of Barcelona and other cities in Europe that have been hit by deadly extremist attacks.

    An injured person is treated in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. [Associated Press]
  3. Confederate statue: Why Bucs, Lightning, Rays took a stand

    Bucs

    They didn't want another Charlottesville.

    Marc Rodriguez, a member of the "Florida Fight for $15" organization, stands in protest along with other activists demanding the Confederate  monument be removed from the old Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  4. Rep. Larry Ahern gets roughed up by Clearwater City Council

    State Roundup

    It seemed innocuous enough: an "end of session report" from state Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, to the Clearwater City Council.

    Then Ahern got taken to the woodshed.

    Rep. Larry Ahern is vying for a seat on the Pinellas commission.
  5. Hillsborough County erects wooden barrier to protect Confederate monument from vandalism

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Hillsborough County workers began constructing a wooden barrier around the base of the Confederate monument by the old county courthouse Thursday evening.

    A Hillsborough County construction crew erects a wooden barrier around the Confederate monument at the old county courthouse Thursday, out of concern about potential vandalism. [Courtesy of WTSP]