A deputy from the Clay County Sheriff's Department was caught on videotape punching and kicking a handcuffed drunken-driving suspect, Sheriff Paul Vescovo confirmed today.
Kearney police assisted in the chase and a video camera in a Kearney patrol car recorded the incident, he said.
The incident occurred Aug. 16, 2005, and followed a high-speed chase, according to state records and Vescovo.
A camera in the deputy's car also recorded the incident, but that portion was later erased, the sheriff said.
Internal investigations and administrative disciplinary hearings have been ongoing since, according to county and state officials.
However, no criminal investigations have been conducted or charges filed, officials said.
The deputy, a four-year veteran of the department, resigned on Oct. 7, 2005, Vescovo said. The resignation followed an internal investigation triggered because certain aspects of the deputy's story seemed suspect, he said.
Authorities for the Missouri Department of Public Safety investigated the case after the deputy's resignation was reported to them by Vescovo, the sheriff said.
That led to a petition filed with the Missouri Administration Hearing Commission, which alleged that the deputy struck the suspect after he had submitted to the arrest and that evidence on the county's tape was destroyed.
A hearing was conducted in January by the Administrative Hearing Commission to determine whether the state's public safety director can take disciplinary action regarding the deputy's state license to be a peace officer, said Dan Jordan, legal counsel for the commission. A decision has not yet been made, Jordan said.
If it is determined that discipline is warranted, the deputy could be placed on probation, or have his peace officer's license suspended or revoked.
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