Fabian Cota, Mesa Police Officer, to Appeal Demotion That Followed San Diego Arrest for Alleged Public Drunkenness

Two San Diego police officers are lying to cover up evidence of last summer's illegal "attitude arrest" of former Mesa Police Association president Fabian Cota.

At least, that's what Cota claims.

The officers, on the other hand, say they detained Cota because he was yelling at them drunkenly from a pedicab as they tried to interview another person.

Cota will get the chance to confront the officers during an upcoming appeal of his demotion from sergeant to patrol officer over the incident. The city of Mesa is flying the witnesses out for the hearings on March 14 and 15.

Last year, the city of San Diego rejected a $2.75 million claim Cota filed for false arrest and violation of rights. He says he's still contemplating filing a lawsuit, which he can do until April. He also says that he may yet sue Mesa.

The incident was costly for Cota, costing him $40,000 a year in pay. He also had to step aside from his job as a union official.

Cota says he's being railroaded by two corrupt police departments -- his own, and San Diego's.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern