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Nine ex-cops banned from returning to law enforcement
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2007, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

SANDY -- One policeman tested positive for amphetamines. Another had sex with a 16-year-old boy. And a sheriff's deputy bought $1,500 worth of cigarettes with her county credit card.

These cops and six others who misbehaved have something else in common: They have been booted from Utah law enforcement.

The Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council voted Thursday to decertify the officers, including Ryan Atack, the former Salt Lake City narcotics sergeant who failed a drug test last summer.

Atack and the other eight officers already had resigned or been terminated from their respective police forces.

Atack first came under suspicion on July 19 when a supervisor noticed him acting strange and agitated, according to a POST report. The police department asked Atack to take a urinalysis, which tested positive for amphetamines, the POST report says. The department placed him on administrative leave. He resigned three months later.

A police department investigation revealed "Atack had been addicted to controlled substances for some time," according to the POST report. Earlier this month, he pleaded guilty to trying to pass a bogus prescription in American Fork in February.

Defense attorneys have raised the possibility Atack's drug use could spur a review of criminal cases in which Atack, assigned to narcotics since 2004, was an investigator.

Decertifying a peace officer prohibits the officer from working in Utah law enforcement.

POST on Thursday also decertified Jeremy Zobell, 24, a former Draper police officer, who met a 16-year-old boy at a restaurant in November 2005. The pair went to Zobell's condominium and engaged in kissing, fondling and oral sex.

The West Jordan city prosecutor took the case to Draper Justice Court, where Zobell pleaded guilty on Jan. 18 to a class B misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was fined $587 but served no jail time.

Former Daggett County sheriff's deputy Nancy L. Peckering was decertified for purchasing $1,500 worth of cigarettes on a county-issued credit card. Peckering resigned in lieu of termination on March 7, according to a POST report.

A week later, she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge.

In less severe actions, the council voted to apply multi-year suspensions to three officers, who can resume their law-enforcement career when their suspensions end, though POST staff said Thursday only a small percentage of suspendees choose to do so.

The council on Thursday also approved revised discipline sentences for peace officers. POST Director Rich Townsend said the guidelines attempt to create more uniformity in the sentences administered by the council, particularly on drunk driving cases. Townsend said some cops caught driving drunk were being decertified while others received suspensions.

ncarlisle@sltrib.com

Crackdown on cops

The Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Council took action against 12 officers on Thursday:

* Matthew J. Allen, Davis County, decertified, for felony sex abuse of a minor

* Ryan Atack, Salt Lake City, decertified, for use of controlled substances

* Steven Ward, West Valley City, decertified, for use of steroids

* Marcus J. Barrett, Salt Lake City, decertified, for disorderly conduct*

* Brandi L. Jones, Rich County, decertified, for having sex on duty

* Christopher R. Stapel, Utah Highway Patrol, decertified, for theft

* Jeremy Zobell, Draper, decertified, for sexual misconduct with a minor

* Matthew S. Jones, Ogden, decertified, for sexual misconduct involving a co-worker and a pattern of misconduct

* Nancy L. Peckering, Daggett County, decertified, for theft

* David A. Schirado, Rich County, four-year suspension, for falsifying time sheets and not performing duties

* John T. James, Summit County, three-year suspension, for driving under the influence

* Lisa Wind, Utah Valley State College, four-year suspension, for sexual misconduct with co-worker

* Subject has option to appeal.

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