Dallas lieutenant receives two 10-day suspensions

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by REBECCA LOPEZ and TANYA EISERER

Bio | Email | Follow: @tanyaeiserer

WFAA

Posted on March 7, 2014 at 12:01 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 7 at 4:44 PM

DALLAS –– A Dallas police lieutenant received two 10-day suspensions after he was accused of working while impaired and removing car batteries while supervising the department's auto pound.

Friday, Lt. Mike Magiera received a 10-day suspension over the allegation he came to work impaired. He received another 10-day suspension after investigators concluded he removed batteries and other items from auction vehicles without authorization.

Magiera wasn't accused of taking the items for personal use. He told investigators that he pulled the batteries from the cars to properly dispose of them in accordance with federal environmental regulations.

Magiera was caught sleeping on duty and was reported to his supervisors, who requested he be tested for prescription drug abuse. Officers drew blood to check for drugs. 

In a surveillance video obtained by News 8, Magiera is asked to perform a field sobriety test. He’s seen stumbling and is asked by an officer if he knows all the instructions. When he tries to lift his foot, he’s seen stumbling again. 

"That video showed a man who survived a serious car accident and several subsequent major surgeries and the video showed a man that was in excruciating pain, not a man that was impaired," said Zach Horn, his attorney. "Lt. Magiera will appeal his suspension. “

Other accusations center around a photo of Magiera sleeping while on duty. A sergeant working for the lieutenant at the auto pound took the picture. 

“I heard snoring by the copier machine,” said Sgt. Bronc McCoy to internal affairs investigators. “I walked around the desk partition and saw Lt. Magiera sleeping.” 

Supervisors then requested he be tested for prescription drugs. During the field sobriety test, he has a hard time touching his nose. Magiera defends his actions in statements filed with the internal affairs investigators. He says he had difficult maintaining a proper sleep schedule because he was switched from an evening to day shift.

“I was on a nine-hour day so I used my unpaid lunch break to sleep in my office,” he said. “I set an alarm.” 

He also told investigators he suffered from severe pain after an accident so he took pain pills. Dallas police officials said Friday that the prescription drugs were legally prescribed.

Magiera received a written reprimand for the allegation of sleeping at work. When he completes his two 10-day suspensions, which he'll serve consecutively, Magiera will return to work at the auto pound.

Email rlopez@wfaa.com

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