Capitol Police Sergeant Suspended in Gun-in-Bathroom Probe
Capitol Police have suspended a sergeant in the Capitol division, allegedly in retribution for a leak related to Roll Call’s May 1 report of three incidents in which officers left loaded guns in problematic places, such as the bathroom.
The sergeant was one of two senior officials ordered on June 22 to speak with internal affairs investigators in the Office of Professional Responsibility, according to sources within the department. Those sources did not want to speak on the record about disciplinary matters for fear of retribution. Only one returned to work, the sources said, while the sergeant has not been back on duty since. After the lost guns made waves around Capitol Hill, law enforcement officials announced the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility and its independent inspector general would review the incidents and report all findings and recommendations to the Capitol Police Board. Police subsequently launched a hunt for the source behind the photo of one unattended Glock service weapon left in a Capitol Visitor Center bathroom.
Seven weeks later, at least one suspected whistleblower appears to have been removed from duty.
But it is unclear if disciplinary decisions have been made for the officers who left their guns in the bathrooms on Jan. 29, while protecting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell , R-Ky., or on March 24, while protecting Speaker John A. Boehner.
On May 20, Chief Kim C. Dine told House Administration Committee lawmakers the six-day suspension for the agent protecting McConnell was “still in the process, but close to being fully adjudicated.”
Dine was also asked if the two officers had been removed from the protective details of the GOP leaders, who were not briefed on the incidents after they occurred. “They haven’t been yet, but we will certainly be looking at their assignment,” Dine replied. “In fact, we’re looking in terms of policies and procedures, one of the things we are looking at is rotation of personnel throughout the agency.”
Asked about disciplinary action, and whether the officers have been removed from the protective details, Capitol Police spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider declined to provide an update.
“As a matter of policy, the Department does not routinely discuss internal personnel matters, in order to maintain the integrity of the Department,” Schneider said.
Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank J. Larkin, chairman of the Capitol Police Board, referred questions to Capitol Police. Lawmakers with jurisdiction over the department also did not comment.
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