Monday, September 7, 2009

Deputy beats a guy and beats the system.

I missed this earlier. The Hawkeye reports Deputy receives suspension for assault. "In July, Eric Joseph Staub, 27, was found guilty of simple assault. District Judge Kirk Daily of Ottumwa sentenced Staub to 30 days in the county jail, which was suspended. He was fined $55."

15 days off without pay for an "altercation". 15 days off, but only a couple of days a week.

The guy was found guilty of simple assault, sentenced 30 days suspended (what a surprise) and $55 bucks for beating up on a guy. While on duty.

So if I get PO'd at a guy for harassing my wife, can I get the same deal?


Sergeant Mac said...

A quick Google search would show you that the "assault" consisted of "grabbing"....

....and that the "victim" was a convicted felon and repeat offender, out on parole, who did not know the girlfriend, but DID know the cop.

.....and I doubt you'd appreciate part of your punishment including forfeiture of 40-60% of your pay for almost two months.

I'm not saying that the cop was not wrong - he certainly was - I am merely saying that this sentence and disciplinary action was no "slap on the wrist" when considering what actually happened.

strandediniowa said...

Glad to see we agree on some points here, but we disagree on others.

On your first point, I didn’t need much googling since the Hawkeye article itself said Taeger had a drug conviction of 10 years. Earlier articles indicate Deputy Staub inflicted pain on the guy. (Yeah I do know how to use Google, too) Seems to me a bit more than “grabbing” went on and the conviction reflects that.

No matter how many quote marks you use, Taeger was a victim in this and the court agrees. And so what if he is a felon. It should not matter if the guy was an octogenarian that never had so much as a parking ticket or the devil himself, it is immaterial to the charge. If Taeger was such a bad guy, why wasn’t he charged for harassment against the girl and Staub do his duty and arrest him? The fact that Staub, on duty, yes – assaulted Taeger in defense of the girlfriend, cannot be defended. As chivalrous as it was, it’s still wrong. Especially if done while on duty. On that point, I think we can agree.

As far as the punishment goes, the county handed down an administrative ruling. Since they are short-handed, if I had a jaded outlook I would think he’s probably going to have overtime while on duty to make up the difference. But I don’t know that for fact. Not too many counties or cities I know of that suspends people part-time. That seems odd to me.

As far as the criminal conviction goes, Staub was fined $55, which is low in comparison to Iowa City’s consideration of a curfew violation fine of $50. Again, seems odd to me.

Suspended sentences are the norm in SE Iowa courts. I’ve seen dope peddlers get a two-year sentence only to have all but 30 days or less suspended (time served). Des Moines county district court has been doing that for years. That’s why I used the word “typical.” Even the Taeger was out after serving only a few months of a 10-year sentence. This is something that’s been going on for years there and should change, but probably won’t in my lifetime.