Two Bellevue Police officers were disciplined and one was exonerated after an off-duty incident that occurred in September during a Seattle Seahawks game.
Corporal Dion Robertson, a 22-year veteran, was demoted to officer and lost his supervisory responsibilities on the Bomb Squad, which results in a significant annual loss in pay. Officer Andy Hanke, a seven-year veteran, was suspended from duty for 30 days without pay and was removed from the Bomb Squad, also resulting in a significant loss in annual wages.
Both officers were found to have violated policies on deportment (a manner of personal conduct/behavior), courtesy and code of ethics. Officer Hanke also violated an "obedience to laws" policy. A female detective was cleared of all allegations.
"I am convinced that these officers have learned a very hard lesson and their actions in the future will always meet the high standards of behavior that the Bellevue community rightfully demands of their police. The discipline given to these officers is firm yet fair," said Police Chief Linda Pillo.
"After the media’s description of the events, some citizens demanded I terminate these officers. Once the facts were uncovered through a comprehensive administrative investigation conducted by the Office of Professional Standards regarding the off-duty alleged conduct, it was clear their actions, although embarrassing and disheartening, did not rise to the level of termination."
On Sept. 16 a member of the Seattle Police Department (SPD) contacted Pillo regarding a littering incident where Bellevue Police officers were present. After seeing a woman littering, a SPD officer asked her to pick it up. The woman, a City of Bellevue Utilities employee, picked the item up. Robertson and Hanke, who were with her, used profane language while confronting the SPD officer. A SPD supervisor was called to the scene to assist.
Shortly after this incident, security was contacted inside the stadium by a ticket holder complaining about Robertson and Hanke's offensive language used while he and his family watched the game. During this incident, the female City of Bellevue Utilities employee who littered earlier identified them as "Bellevue’s finest" and suggested the citizen should be careful while driving in Bellevue. Security asked them to leave the stadium. The female detective was not involved in this incident and did not make any comments to the public.
During the internal investigation, it was determined that Officer Hanke drove home under the influence of alcohol. The investigation could not determine his level of intoxication and there is no forensic evidence of his level of intoxication. This lack of evidence precludes a criminal prosecution. It should be noted that the same standard and rules of evidence would be applied to any member of the public. However, Pillo found in the civil investigation that Hanke drove while intoxicated, violating the obedience to laws policy.
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