Fort Wayne Police Officer Suspended For The 14th Time

By Brien McElhatten

June 18, 2010 Updated Mar 2, 2010 at 7:37 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Officer Scott Morales is walking on thin ice after his latest violation.

Police Chief Rusty York says he suspended Morales for five days without pay for problems with "alertness on duty."

"It resulted from him not being at his post for an assigned time within the building," explained York. The incident took place in January while Morales was working the third shift York told Indiana's News Center.

York says Morales wandered away from his post to another part of the building. While the offense may not be a major one, it further tarnished the record of the 19-year veteran, who has now been suspended for the 14th time since 1991.

Morales' last suspension was in February, after he was accused of inappropriately using a taser on an individual who was already handcuffed. He received a three-day unpaid suspension for that incident.

Prior to that, Morales was accused of going absent without leave multiple times, being involved in several accidents with his police cruiser, falsifying reports, excessive force and searching a home without a warrant.

When asked why Morales has been allowed to keep his badge, York explained that discipline problems are handled with a "progressive system."

"It shows that probably the attempts to correct any behavior is not working. So certainly, we've reached the point that any subsequent allegations will certainly take on a much more serious tone," responded York.

Members of the police merit board would ultimately decide Morales' professional fate. Members were notified of his suspension Monday afternoon.

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