Two Bellevue police officers were disciplined, including the demotion of a 22-year veteran, after an investigation into reported unruly behavior at a Seattle Seahawks game in September, the Bellevue Police Department said.
One of the officers drove home drunk, though no evidence was available on his level of intoxication, according to the police department's report, and he will not face criminal prosecution.
A Bellevue police detective, who was not named, was exonerated of any wrongdoing, according to the department's media release.
Read the officers' statements in the attachments with this story.
The disciplined officers are:
•Cpl. Dion Robertson, a 22-year veteran. He was demoted to officer and lost his supervisory responsibilities on the bomb squad, which results in a significant annual loss in pay.
•Officer Andy Hanke, a seven-year veteran. He was given 30 days suspension from duty without pay and was removed from the bomb squad, also resulting in a significant loss in annual wages.
Both officers were found to have violated policies on Deportment (a manner of personal conduct/behavior), Courtesy and Code of Ethics, according to the media release. Hanke also violated Obedience to Laws Policy, according to the release.
Bellevue Police's Office of Professional Standards investigated the reported unruly behavior of off-duty officers at a Seattle Seahawks game on Sept. 16.
According to the Bellevue Police Department's investigation, Robertson and Hanke and an unidentified city of Bellevue utilities department employee reportedly taunted an on-duty Seattle police officer outside the stadium after she asked the utilities department employee to pick up a cup that one of them dropped.
But the boorish behavior didn't stop there, according to subsequent reports. After the three arrived at the game, they behaved in unruly fashion, including a confrontation with a fan at the game, resulting in the officers being thrown out of the game for their behavior.
The fan said that one of the group, two male officers, a female officer and another woman, who is now identified as the utilties department employee, warned him not to get pulled over in Bellevue.
The Bellevue Police Department's report said it was the utilities department employee who identified the group as "Bellevue's finest." The female officer, who is a detective, was not involved in the previous incident and did not make any comments to the public, according to the Bellevue Police Department report.
Chief Linda Pillo released the following statement:
"I am convinced that these officers have learned a very hard lesson and their actions in the future will always meet the high standards of behavior that the Bellevue community rightfully demands of their police. The discipline given to these officers is firm yet fair.”
"After the media's description of the events, some citizens demanded I terminate these officers. Once the facts were uncovered through a comprehensive administrative investigation conducted by the Office of Professional Standards regarding the off-duty alleged conduct, it was clear their actions, although embarrassing and disheartening, did not rise to the level of termination."
The investigation determined that Hanke drove home under the influence of alcohol, but investigators could not get forensic evidence of his level of intoxication. The lack of evidence means that there will be no criminal prosecution, but Hanke violated the department's Obedience of Laws Policy, according to the media release.
"It should be noted that the same standard and rules of evidence would be applied to any member of the public," the media release noted.
As part of the release, the officers released statements of apology (which are attached in full to this article).
"My behavior was inappropriate, disrespecful and lacked the professionalism you expect from me in my position," Hanke wrote.
"I was completely out of line and not behaving in a manner anyone should," wrote Robertson. "While I cannot change the past I can let you know that I have taken complete responsibility and taken the positive life changes to make sure it never happens again."
Do you think this discipline is fair? Tell us in the comments.
- Sep 20, 2012
- Bellevue Officers Thrown Out of Seahawks Game After Confrontation with a Fan, Sep 21, 2012
- VIDEO: Bellevue Police Chief: Investigation of Officer Conduct at Seahawks Game Will Take 30 Days, Sep 25, 2012
- Bellevue Police Investigation into Off-Duty Officers' Behavior Under Review, Nov 5, 2012