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Town of Beloit committee upholds officer’s suspension

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ANN MARIE AMES
April 29, 2010
— A disciplinary committee has upheld a five-day suspension given to a police officer who left his squad unattended while fuel spilled at a gas station.

The Town of Beloit Police and Fire Disciplinary Committee upheld the suspension already served by officer Chris Luzinski, according to a report released Wednesday.


Police Chief John Wilson suspended Luzinski without pay after a fuel spill at Stop-n-Go, 907 E. Inman Parkway, Beloit.


According to the complaint against Luzinski, the officer failed to punch out of his car, failed to immediately report the spill, failed to stay on scene while the spill was cleaned up and put the public’s safety at risk.


During Monday’s hearing, Luzinski said he made mistakes. He also said a five-day suspension was not a fitting punishment for those mistakes.


Luzinski on Monday said he is looking for a different job and does not want his employee record to reflect a five-day suspension.


According to the complaint Wilson filed against Luzinski and the committee’s findings, Luzinski on Feb. 12 went to Stop-n-Go to fuel his squad car. Luzinski left the pump running and went inside the store to buy Diet Mountain Dew to take back to the department.


He did not punch out of his car by computer or radio, which is a violation of department policy, the complaint states.


While Luzinski was away from the car, 8 to 12 gallons of fuel spilled, the complaint states.


Luzinski said he talked to the gas station attendant before he left the spill and the attendant said everything was fine.


The attendant Monday disagreed with that statement.


After Luzinski left the scene, the attendant called 911 to get help cleaning up the spill.


The committee found Wilson’s investigation of the incident fair and complete. Luzinski did not submit evidence that showed Wilson was wrong, according to the committee’s findings.


The three-person committee was formed in the fall. This is the first case the committee has heard.


The committee’s decision is final, Town Administrator Bob Museus has said.



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