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Published: Thursday, 5/1/2008

30-day, no-pay suspension of veteran police officer urged

BY LAREN WEBER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Deputy Chief Don Kenney has recommended that a veteran Toledo police officer be suspended without pay for 30 days after being accused of driving an unmarked police vehicle home without authorization.

While the car was in the officer's possession, a sniper rifle and other property were stolen from the vehicle, officials said.

The deputy chief also recommended Officer Robert Barboza, who last week was charged administratively by the department's internal affairs unit, be given a written reprimand and pay the cost of the stolen property, totaling about $8,000.

Officer Barboza, a former member of the directed patrol unit who was appointed to the department in 1979, agreed during a hearing Tuesday to plead guilty to one charge of gross neglect of duty and maintaining proper care of weapons, Deputy Chief Kenney said.

The recommendation was sent to Dave Moebius, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's assistant chief of staff, for approval. He said he expects to make a decision sometime this week.

Officer Barboza parked the car in the driveway of his West Toledo home about 3:30 p.m. March 17.

Chief Mike Navarre said the officer did not have authorization to take home the vehicle, which belongs to the Fugitive Task Force.

Officer Barboza returned home about 10 p.m. and reported seeing no damage to the vehicle. He went to sleep at midnight and didn't hear any noise, police said. He awoke about 7:30 a.m. the next day, went out to the car, and noticed its rear passenger window had been smashed out.

A police-issued camouflaged sniper rifle, about 15 rounds of 308-caliber ammunition, a police radio and charger, and the officer's gym bag were stolen from the vehicle, a report said.

The property has not been found, Chief Navarre said.



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