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Saturday, February 28, 2009

[FL] "THIS IS ERICA, I AM AT MY HOUSE. I AM SCARED, AND I NEED HELP."

...[The Live Oak Police Department victim's advocate Erica] Elliott testified that she was not seeking help when she called [Chief Buddy] Williams... Elliott said the altercation occurred because she provoked [Sgt. Jose Alfredo] Moreno... Elliott denied telling Williams or [LOPD Captain Joe] Daly that Moreno tried to choke her with the radio cord. Moreno also testified he did not try to choke Elliott with the radio cord. He said was attempting to take the cord out of her hand when he lost his grip and fell... He said that he placed his hands on Elliott's shoulders in order to move her out of the way to get out of the bathroom. The floor was slippery and she slipped and fell... [Circuit Judge Thomas] Kennon found that "Moreno physically assaulted Elliot" and that "[t]his conduct also violated LOPD Administrative Rules and City policies warranting Moreno's termination"... Moreno, terminated from the Live Oak Police Department on Sept. 22, will be briefly reinstated "to permit him to resign..."



A CHRONOLOGY:
OCT 7, 2008 - FEB 24TH, 2009


LOPD OFFICER FIRED
Sergeant dismissed after altercation with co-worker

Suwannee Democrat, FL
By Vanessa Fultz
October 07, 2008
[Excerpts] A sergeant with the Live Oak Police Department has been fired after an off-duty altercation with another LOPD employee in August, records of a city investigation show. Sgt. Jose Alfredo Moreno and another employee had gone to dinner on Aug. 16 and returned to the employee's residence... Moreno had reportedly become intoxicated. The two then had a verbal confrontation that turned physical. The victim made several attempts to get help, but Moreno prevented her from doing so... Moreno allegedly pulled the microphone cord from the police radio in his squad car when the victim tried to radio for help. At one point the victim tried to run and Moreno reportedly prevented her. ... Investigators determined that Moreno had violated city policy regarding conduct and ethics and determined that there was sufficient cause for his dismissal, say reports. Moreno was terminated on Sept. 22. The state attorney's office conducted a criminal investigation into the matter on Sept. 18. As a result of the investigation Moreno will be charged with criminal mischief and disorderly conduct, according to records of the LOPD investigation... In a letter to City Attorney Erny Sellers, [Mayor Sonny] Nobles said he had been asked by a city councilman whether the hearing involving Moreno "could be held 'behind closed doors' and out of the sunshine." Under Florida's Government in the Sunshine law, "the appeal cannot be heard behind closed doors," Sellers wrote in response. [Full article here]



FORMER LOPD OFFICER APPEALS FIRING
Terminated after off-duty altercation

Suwannee Democrat, FL
By Vanessa Fultz
October 16, 2008 05:25 pm
[Excerpts] The city council on Tuesday granted a former Live Oak Police Department officer a hearing to appeal his termination. Former Sgt. Jose Alfredo Moreno will meet before a hearing officer in the absence of the city council to make his case. The hearing officer will then make a recommendation to the council, which will ultimately determine Moreno's employment status. The meeting will take place at city hall sometime in November... LOPD officials launched an internal investigation on Aug. 26 and determined that Moreno violated city policy regarding conduct and ethics and found that there was sufficient cause for his dismissal. The State Attorney's office has also conducted a criminal investigation into the matter. It is unknown whether charges will be filed against Moreno. [Full article here]

FIRED LOPD OFFICER WON'T FACE CHARGES
Appeal hearing rescheduled

Suwannee Democrat, FL
By Vanessa Fultz
November 17, 2008 06:29 pm
[Excerpts] A former Live Oak police sergeant WILL NOT face criminal charges for an off-duty altercation that cost him his job. Instead, former LOPD Sgt. Jose Alfredo Moreno will participate in a pre-trial intervention program for first-time offenders. Assistant State Attorney Ernie Page said Monday he had been advised by Moreno's attorney that the former officer has signed a contract to participate in the program... [Full article here]

FIRED LOPD OFFICER WILL BE ALLOWED TO RESIGN
Suwannee Democrat, FL
By Vanessa Fultz
December 16, 2008 04:30 pm
[Excerpts] A former city police sergeant, fired after an off-duty altercation with another employee, will instead be allowed to resign, the city council decided Monday. Former Sgt. Jose Alfredo Moreno, terminated from the Live Oak Police Department on Sept. 22, will be briefly reinstated "to permit him to resign," according to a letter detailing the agreement. Moreno had planned to appeal his termination. Councilman Bennie Thomas objected to the arrangement. "If he wasn't doing his job. If he violated city policy and he was terminated, then that's it," Thomas said at Monday's meeting. "I have a problem with hiring him back and saying, okay, we're going to give you a chance to resign." "It's not that we'd hire him back, it's just we'd accept his letter of resignation," said Police Chief Buddy Williams. The measure was approved by a 2-1 vote, with Thomas the only dissenting voice. Councilmen John Hale and Ken Duce were absent due to health concerns. In exchange for being allowed to resign, Moreno waived his right to appeal or to pursue any other cause of action against the city... [Full article here]

POLICE OFFICER WILL APPEAL TERMINATION AFTER ALL
Suwannee Democrat, FL
By Vanessa Fultz
January 14, 2009
[Excerpts] A former Live Oak police officer will appeal his termination after all... Last month the city council agreed to let Moreno resign, but now he has changed his mind. Moreno is scheduled to appear before a hearing officer Jan. 20.... [Full article here]

FIRED OFFICER'S GIRLFRIEND DISPUTES ACCOUNTS OF ALTERCATION
Denies telling police chief, captain that Jose Alfredo Moreno tried to choke her

Suwannee Democrat, FL
By Vanessa Fultz
January 21, 2009 03:02 pm
[Excerpts] The girlfriend of Live Oak police Sgt. Jose Alfredo Moreno disputed police officials' accounts of an August 2008 altercation that led to Moreno's firing during a reinstatement hearing at police headquarters Tuesday. Moreno was terminated from LOPD last September after an off-duty altercation with the woman, Erica Elliott, also an LOPD employee... The report alleges that Moreno "pushed" Elliott in the bathroom and at one point had her in a "headlock." During the incident Elliott tried to call for help but Moreno prevented her from doing so, the report states. She later tried to run from Moreno but he pulled her back, according to the report. LOPD Captain Joe Daly testified Tuesday that Elliott was "physically distraught" and "shaken" after the incident. "When I got there Erica was crying profusely," Chief Buddy Williams said, adding her hair was "frazzled." Daly testified that Moreno had taken Elliott's cell phone and damaged it, and when she tried to use Moreno's police radio to call for help he ripped it out of the car. Both Williams and Daly testified that Elliott told them Moreno tried to choke her with the radio cord. At the hearing, Elliott denied telling Williams or Daly that Moreno tried to choke her with the radio cord. Moreno also testified he did not try to choke Elliott with the radio cord. He said was attempting to take the cord out of her hand when he lost his grip and fell. Rob Larkin, the city's labor law attorney, said during opening statements that Elliott was "very distraught" and "hysterical" when she called Williams after Moreno left her home that night. Elliott testified Tuesday that she was not seeking help when she called Williams, but rather wanted Williams to give Moreno a ride home, as he had been drinking. "I wasn't afraid he was going to hurt me," she said. Elliott said the altercation occurred because she provoked Moreno by trying to bite him, shove him and call him names. Moreno testified that Elliott hid his keys because she didn't want him to drive. Moreno said he took Elliott's cell phone to get his keys back. "I just wanted my car keys to go home," he said. He said that he placed his hands on Elliott's shoulders in order to move her out of the way to get out of the bathroom. The floor was slippery and she slipped and fell, he said. "I never pushed her with my hands and arms," he testified. Elliott said there were inaccuracies in investigative reports of the incident because of facts that she omitted during interviews. "My focus was on Mr. Moreno, not my actions," she said. "There was no indication of domestic violence," Moreno's attorney, Rick Schutte, said during his opening statement. Schutte described the incident as a "normal husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend spat"... [Full article here]

HEARING OFFICER: MORENO SHOULD STAY FIRED

Suwannee Democrat, FL
By Vanessa Fultz
February 20, 2009 09:29 am
[Excerpts] A fired Live Oak police sergeant should not be given his job back, according to the special magistrate who presided over his reinstatement hearing. The recommendation not to reverse the Sept. 22, 2008 termination of former LOPD Sgt. Jose Alfredo Moreno was issued Wednesday by retired Circuit Judge Thomas Kennon. The Live Oak City Council will decide the matter Tuesday... Kennon found that "Moreno physically assaulted Elliot" and that "[t]his conduct also violated LOPD Administrative Rules and City policies warranting Moreno's termination." Moreno "was a Sergeant in the LOPD, which is a position of great public trust," Kennon wrote in a 17-page decision. "There is a public expectation and the City of Live Oak Police Department has a right to insist that those who enforce the laws must themselves obey the laws they have sworn to enforce. It is implicit in this expectation that the police officers who are charged with protecting the citizens of the City will not participate in violent confrontations. Given Moreno's rank and the extreme nature of his violation of City policy, termination is appropriate."... [Full article here]

MORENO APPEAL REJECTED, 5-0

Suwannee Democrat, FL
By Vanessa Fultz
February 24, 2009 05:51 pm
[Excerpts] The city council voted unanimously at a 4 p.m. meeting today to reject the appeal of Live Oak Police Sgt. Jose Alfredo Moreno, terminated last September after an off-duty altercation with his girlfriend and coworker Erica Elliott, the Live Oak Police Department victim's advocate... [Full article here]

POLICE OFFICER FIRED FOR GOOD

WCTV, FL
Lanetra Bennett lanetra.bennett@wctv.tv
2/24/2009
[Excerpts] A Live Oak police sergeant will remain off the force after being fired for trying to choke his girlfriend. It didn't take the Live Oak City Council long at all. In less than two minutes Tuesday night, a unanimous vote was taken to uphold the termination of SGT Jose Alfredo Moreno from the Live Oak Police Department... A hearing report shows on August 16th, the couple drove to Gainesville for dinner, where Moreno had eight to ten beers and got drunk. The report says the two carried an argument back to Elliot's home in Live Oak, and when she tried to stop Moreno from driving home, he grabbed her around the neck and pushed her away, causing her to fall into the bathtub. Live Oak Police Chief Buddy Williams said... The report goes on to say that Elliot used Moreno's police radio to exclaim, "This is Erica, I am at my house. I am scared, and I need help." She testified that Moreno fell trying to take the radio and choked her with the cord. Elliot, who's the victim advocate, still works for the department. Neither Moreno nor his attorney was present at Tuesday's meeting... [Full article here]
[POLICE OFFICER INVOLVED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RECANT RECANTED]

2 comments:

  1. The patch you display on this website is for the Live Oak Police Department in Live Oak Texas. The article that you write about is from the Live Oak Police Department in Fl. You might want to get their patch instead so that you are more accurate.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Now that you say that I see that little "Texas" on there.
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete

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