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Published: Monday, 11/2/2009

Toledo police officer accused of showing up drunk to work

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A second Toledo police officer in as many weeks was drunk on the job and is now facing criminal charges, Chief Mike Navarre said Monday.

Officer Donald Mitchell, who has been on the force since 1997, is accused of showing up intoxicated for work Saturday afternoon.

"He was charged criminally, was taken to Lucas County Jail, and was offered a Breathalyzer test," the chief said. "He was relieved of duty without pay."

Officer Mitchell refused the Breathalyzer test.

In Ohio, refusing a Breathalyzer results in suspension of a driver's license for one year. He was charged with drunk driving.

He later submitted to a Breathalyzer test for an administrative investigation when ordered to do so.

"He showed up for roll call and actually went out onto the street in his patrol car and someone else brought it to the attention of command that they thought something was wrong," Chief Navarre said. "Command then ordered him back to Scott Park district station and that is when they observed symptoms of intoxications."

Officer James W. Breier, 53, was arrested Oct. 23 and accused of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol when he responded to a traffic crash and appeared intoxicated, police records state.

He was booked into the Lucas County jail and released after he posted $500 bond.

Officer Breier, who has been a Toledo police officer since 1982, postponed the administrative investigation until after his criminal case is complete, which is accepted under the union contract with the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association.

In doing that, Officer Breier removed himself from duty without pay.

He had also been suspended without pay since the incident occurred.

Officer Breier was near the end of his shift when he was called to a crash involving a fire engine at Detroit and Berdan avenues.

A battalion chief with the fire department who also was called to the scene noted that Officer Breier appeared to be intoxicated. He called a police sergeant.



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