Was it Barnes who swiped them for Pataky? Again, the documents provide only clues, not authoritative evidence, but Barnes' weekend visit to the bureau one day before the plates went missing is certainly damning.

Finally, there's the police report that Barnes took in November 2008. As I explained last month, Barnes was working as a patrol officer when, he wrote, he ran into Jeff Pataky in a Home Depot parking lot. Pataky, who was then in the middle of a heated custody dispute, supposedly volunteered to the officer that he needed help.

At Pataky's urging, Barnes wrote, he went back to Pataky's house. There, Barnes wrote a report saying that Pataky's ex-wife had coached his sons to lie about their dad.

David Barnes (left) with his lawyer, Craig Mehrens.
Michael Ratcliff
David Barnes (left) with his lawyer, Craig Mehrens.

But the report, we now know, has serious omissions. The unsealed documents show that Barnes and Pataky had months of contact before their supposed "chance" meeting in the parking lot. That's something Barnes surely had a duty to report in his write-up of the incident.

But regardless of those dealings, the department could run into a sticky situation if it actually attempts prosecution.

Barnes' report into Pataky's custody issues is probably not a criminal matter. And the nameplate theft is about as petty as theft gets. (They're worth $7.50 each, according to the documents released last week.)

The police department is going to look pretty stupid if that's the most it has on Barnes. As Barnes' attorney, Craig Mehrens, says, a law enforcement agency doesn't have to prosecute all the cases it gets. "This may be one they want to let go," he says drily. He maintains his client's innocence.

Indeed, just by executing the search warrant, the department gave itself a bit of a black eye. The documents filed last week would likely never have become public had the PD not raided Barnes' house.

Thanks to the documents, we now know that Barnes' colleagues thought he was a snitch because he was passed over for an award related to the Baseline Killer investigation. We know that one female supervisor has a history of asking inappropriate questions about her colleagues' sex lives. And we know that Heather Polombo has been so upset by needling on the Bad Phoenix Cops Web site, she's bursting into tears on duty.

Personally, I'd like to see these guys spending a little more time solving murders — and a little less time rumbling in the hallway.

That was fun in high school. But surely it's time to move on.

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The Phoenix Police Department has "Black Eye", are you kidding Fenske this place is riddled with Pink Eye that there is no prescription for!

Perhaps David Spade could purchase some prophylactic proton bristles to clean the mouths of these corrupt mean spirited liars!

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