ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The state has hit a veteran APD officer with a tough punishment for sexual misconduct; a lot of it while on duty. That punishment is far more severe than what Chief Ray Schultz gave him.
Chief Schultz refuses to talk about the case but the LEA board records spells out what was going on.
The state board that dishes out punishment to badly behaving cops, had a lot of cases to review at its last meeting, but one sticks out, the suspension of Dennis Barela.
Notes from the Law Enforcement Academy Board's meeting say Barela, a sergeant with APD, was reprimanded after Schultz found out he had sent nude pictures of himself to multiple women, had sex with women on the job and was playing sexual pranks on co-workers.
The board didn't get into specifics, but said Barela admitted to playing a "genitalia slapping game" with other officers and hit one officer so hard with a pencil holder that the cop had to see a doctor. All of that was last year.
The chief decided back then that Barela should be demoted back to patrol officer, and suspended him for a week. But then he suspended the suspension; meaning Barela went right back to work.
He didn't get the same results when the LEA heard his case in July. The director and the board agreed that Barela needed to be punished more severely and suspended him from patrolling the streets for four months.
We wanted to talk to the chief about his original punishment of Barela, but he refused.
Barela is now on desk duty.
Barela's demotion did mean a pay cut. But, the city's web site shows he's still made almost 50-thousand dollars so far this year. He will have to wait a few years before he can apply to be a sergeant again.
Barela has been on the force for 17 years. He admitted to the LEA board that the accusations against him were true.
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