Suspended San Benito police captain 'reinstated'
Fri, 03 Jun 2011 00:04:39 GMT —
It took the San Benito Civil Service Board less than an hour behind closed doors to render a decision in favor of embattled police Captain Arnold Garcia.
"We recommend that Captain Garcia be reinstated," Chairman Larry Drake said.
The news was clearly a giant relief for Garcia who raised his hands after the decision was read.
He had been on indefinite suspension since April, accused of breaking civil service rules on politics while on the job.
The commission did find wrongdoing.
"We do believe a lack of judgment was demonstrated by Captain Garcia and a breach of civil service guidelines occurred," Drake said.
A 15-day suspension without pay was the only recommended punishment against Garcia.
He spoke immediately following the decision.
"I haven't done anything wrong... It was proven today."
Garcia has been under fire recently.
He was caught up in a number of scandals involving drug testing and improper use of a company vehicle.
Reporter: "Do you think it's a witch hunt against you?
Garcia: "To put into context... I've been with the pd for 27 years and less than a year... 3 times. Come on."
But some rank-and-file police officers who spoke to Action 4 News under the condition of anonymity put it in their own context.
They said this so-called leader has been punished three times in the last year.
It lead to weeks worth of unpaid suspensions, a demotion from assistant chief to captain and now a public reprimand from the civil service board.
Garcia said he planned to work at the San Benito Police Department for another 5 years.
He's expected to return to work on Monday.