Bellevue police officer investigated for drinking, driving city truck
A Bellevue police officer who was previously demoted for drunken and disorderly behavior at a Seattle Seahawks has been disciplined for driving a bomb squad truck to a pub and then to another officer’s house after drinking.
Officer Dion Robertson, a 22-year veteran of the department, drank three beers and drove the unmarked assigned city vehicle to two off-duty functions on Nov. 10, 2013. Robertson then drove the bomb squad truck home, as KING 5 first reported.
In a statement Thursday, the department said Chief Linda Pillo had removed Robertson from the bomb squad, resulting in a four percent pay reduction, after an internal investigation found he violated “the department manual policy of judgment responsibilities.”
The investigation did not show that Robertson was impaired while driving the vehicle.
“Holding officers accountable to a high standard is not only the right thing to do but it is necessary to ensure we maintain the department’s integrity and the public’s trust,” Chief Pillo said.
The internal investigation was launched after a fellow officer reported Robertson’s behavior.
“This kind of professional accountability is what the citizens of Bellevue deserve and is consistent with the high standards I expect from every officer,” Chief Pillo said.
Acting City Manager Brad Miyake said he believed Chief Pillo’s disciplinary action was fair and firm.
“Let me be clear. The behaviors shown by this officer are unacceptable and are not tolerated by the city,” said Miyake. “Our officers must act with integrity and exercise good judgment – on and off duty.”
Miyake said the city is reviewing a policy about operating city vehicles on and off duty and evaluating the culture within the department as they search for a new police chief when Pillo retires on April 15.
Robertson was previously demoted from corporal to officer and removed from his supervisory position on the bomb squad after he and another officer, Andrew Hanke, were kicked out of CenturyLink Field in 2012. The demotion resulted in a significant pay reduction for Robertson, and Hanke eventually resigned from the department after a second drunken driving incident late last year.