Behind The Badge

Police Officer Convicted of Drunk Driving With His Child Gets Promotion

Milwaukee, WI — Milwaukee police sergeant John P. Corbett was recently convicted and sentenced to jail time for driving drunk with his child in the car, and now he is up for a promotion. The 46-year-old police officer allowed his 13-year-old daughter to drive his vehicle while he was drunk, and after getting a slap on the wrist in the court, he still has his job and may even be getting a raise.

According to the police report, Corbett and his daughter took turns behind the wheel throughout the trip, and he took over the drive when she got lost.

Corbett was given a misdemeanor charge of “driving drunk with a child in the car” and only served 30 days on work release. Corbett did receive a 60-day suspension but was able to work while serving his sentence, working his shift at the police department by day, then sleeping in the jail at night. It is important to note that the average citizen would be looking a lengthy prison sentence, steep fines, and they would likely lose their job had then been caught driving drunk with their child in the car.

At the scene, Corbett refused to take a breathalyzer test and then was able to get that dismissed in court as a result of a plea agreement. Again, these are circumstances that would never be granted to the average citizen.

Corbett was seen smiling ear to ear in his mug shot because he knew that he would see no consequences.

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According to a scathing report by the Journal Sentinel in 2011, Corbett’s case is par for the course in the Milwaukee PD. JS Online reports:

At least 93 Milwaukee police officers – ranking from street cop to captain – have been disciplined for violating the laws and ordinances they were sworn to uphold, a Journal Sentinel investigation found.

Their offenses range from sexual assault and domestic violence to drunken driving and shoplifting, according to internal affairs records. All still work for the Police Department, where they have the authority to make arrests, testify in court and patrol neighborhoods.

Officers who run afoul of the law often aren’t fired or prosecuted, the newspaper found.

Milwaukee police spokesman Sgt. Timothy Gauerke said that Corbett and the department have moved on since the incident.

“As a result of the suspension, he lost approximately $17,000 in pay. He also fulfilled the criminal sanctions set forth by a judge in Fond du Lac County. Having completed the suspension and judicial process he is relieved from further sanctions related to this incident,” Gauerke said in a statement.

Corbett’s promotion was requested by Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn, who wrote that Corbett had been “put through a timely internal vetting process wherein the members’ entire record was reviewed, including disciplines, open and closed investigations, administrative matters (e.g. use of force reports, squad accidents, criminal investigations, citizen complaints), fitness and history with the FPC.”

“I certify that these members are in good standing with the department and suitable for promotion,” the statement concluded.

On Monday, The Civilian Fire and Police Commission will gather for a meeting to decide the status of Corbett’s promotion.

If Corbett does receive the promotion, he will be the second police officer surrounded in controversy to receive a promotion for the Milwaukee Police Department this year. Earlier this year, Officer Richard Ticcioni was promoted to detective, despite the fact that was involved in the arrest of a man who died in police custody.

 

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