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TRUMBULL COUNTY Detective receives suspension over using county car on trip



Published: Sun, April 13, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



The detective will lose 60 days' pay and must pay travel costs.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- A sheriff's detective who admitted driving a county car to Maryland for a weekend vacation will not lose her job.

Instead, the detective, Latrese Morgan, will be given a 60-day unpaid suspension, ordered to sign a last-chance agreement and reimburse the county for the mileage and gas.

The last-chance agreement means that if Morgan would violate any of the county's policy and procedures dealing with county vehicles, she would be terminated.

She will also be required to pay the county 39 cents for every mile put on the vehicle during the drive to and from Baltimore, plus $26.25 for the gasoline she put in the car at the county fuel pump before leaving on the trip.

Firing recommended

The sheriff had recommended two weeks ago that Morgan be fired. She appealed his ruling, and several meetings were held.

"We met again today and I decided to recommend the suspension," Altiere said. "I think it is fair."

Morgan, who admitted using her detective car to drive to Maryland, could not be reached to comment on Wednesday's hearing.

She will continue to work this week, Altiere said, noting that the suspension will start Monday.

Morgan, who has been a deputy since 1991, is accused of violating several departmental rules -- including those addressing the use of common sense and the promotion of the organization's values, committing unsafe acts or endangering self or others, and the use and care of property and equipment.

The sheriff said he did not know if the county prosecutor's office was going to file any criminal action.

Took vacation

Morgan used the unmarked car to go to Baltimore last month for a short vacation with her sister, Deputy Adrian Bradley.

Morgan had the car for five days, Altiere said.

The internal investigation centered only on Morgan's involvement. Bradley is not part of the investigation because she didn't know Morgan did not have permission to take the car, Altiere said.

The vehicle is now parked, and Morgan has been assigned a marked cruiser, the sheriff said.

A tip was given to an official at the sheriff's department that Morgan's car was in Maryland, the sheriff said. He declined to say who provided the tip.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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