Longform

Department 2, Fired Cops 1

The Phoenix Civil Service Board has reviewed the dismissals of three Phoenix police officers so far in 1996. Officer Fred Santos--whose dismissal was reduced to a 120-hour suspension--is one. Here are the other two, as detailed in the board minutes:

Officer Mark LeBlanc
"Mr. LeBlanc was dismissed for inappropriately identifying himself as a Phoenix Police Officer in an attempt to intimidate a complainant at his apartment, improperly using the Police Department computer system to run a vehicle plate and registered owner's name for his personal use, failing to notify his supervisor of this situation, receiving gratuity by accepting free apartment rent by virtue of his position as a police officer, failing to honestly report the facts pertaining to this investigation and failing to follow a direct order not to discuss this investigation with any unauthorized personnel."

LeBlanc appealed his dismissal in a private hearing. The hearing officer recommended that the dismissal be upheld; the Civil Service Board concurred.

Officer Patrick Bynes
The following occurred after Bynes made a routine traffic stop, and issued citations to the driver:

"After discovering he had left his flashlight in the driver's vehicle, he drove to the individual's home in Glendale without notifying Communications or his supervisor, falsified his computer status while he drove to Glendale, and later falsified his daily worksheet. Since he was unsuccessful in retrieving his flashlight, he made a second attempt while in an off-duty status, by driving a City vehicle to Glendale, again without notifying his supervisor of his activities, and attempting to force entry into the individual's locked vehicle without permission, which resulted in a verbal confrontation when the individual arrived home and discovered what he was doing. In an effort to resolve the situation, Officer Bynes offered to 'take care of' the citations he had written to the individual, and then took immediate and extensive action to void the citations."

Bynes appealed his dismissal in a private hearing. The hearing officer recommended that the dismissal be reduced to a 30-day suspension. The Civil Service Board did not concur, and upheld the dismissal.

--Amy Silverman

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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at amy-silverman.com.