Former SLO, AG cops fail to get their jobs back
August 7, 2015
Two former police officers fired by the cities of San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande respectively will not get their jobs back, an California appellate court ruled Thursday. [Tribune]
The appellate court issued rulings in the separate cases of Dan McDow and Albert Beattie. McDow was fired from the San Luis Obispo force in 2010 after he was arrested at the Mexican border for bringing misbranded prescription pills into the United States.
Beattie, a former Arroyo Grande sergeant and officer of the year, lost his job in 2009, after he repeatedly refused to take psychological exams. Beattie was ordered to take the exams after questions arose about his judgment regarding when to use a gun.
In both cases, the cities overruled administrative hearing officers who said the officers should not have been fired.
McDow and fellow officer Armando Limon attempted to bring more than 800 pills, including both uppers and diet pills, into the country. McDow pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges, but he sued to get his job back.
San Luis Obispo Judge Martin Tangeman ruled against McDow in April 2014. McDow appealed the decision, and his attorney argued that the former officer did not know he was committing a crime by bringing the pills across the border.
Beattie was officer of the year in 2006. The same year, he fatally shot a man who led officers on a 100 mile chase from Atascadero to Gaviota.
The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, though, said the shooting was “clearly justified.”
In 2008, Beattie made a comment about not having a clear line of fire through a window at an elderly couple’s house. Another officer reported the comment to Chief Steve Annibali.
For nearly a year, Annibali ordered Beattie to undergo mental fitness-for-duty exams. The chief then fired him.
Beattie took Arroyo Grande to court in December 2013 and lost. He appealed, arguing the city should have imposed a lesser penalty, rather than fire him, given his positive performance evaluations.