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Former SLC cop who drove drunk gets one-year suspension

Published March 29, 2013 8:41 am

Police • Peace officer council administers disciplinary actions.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

St. George • Troy Anderson said he's doing everything he can to return home.

"And by home I mean back to the Salt Lake City Police Department," Anderson said.

Anderson was one of seven peace officers whose name was called Thursday by the Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Council. Four times a year, the group disciplines police and Corrections officers from throughout the state.

Alcohol played a direct role in three of the disciplinary cases handled Thursday, including Anderson's. On March 30, 2012, a Utah Highway Patrol trooper arrested Anderson on suspicion of driving under the influence. Anderson pleaded guilty in Murray Justice Court to a reduced misdemeanor charge of impaired driving. He received a $1,200 fine, 48 hours of community service and a year of probation. In July, he resigned from the Salt Lake City Police Department.

But Anderson, 42, on Thursday asked the council to suspend his police certification for one year instead of the 18 months recommended by council investigators.

Anderson, who said he has been a police officer for 16 years, told the council he was upset about the deaths of some former fellow police officers and went out drinking with some friends the night he was pulled over.

Anderson said he has undergone counseling even though a mental health professional did not diagnose him as having a drinking problem.

"As we all know, alcohol impairs judgment, and that clearly was the case for me," Anderson said.

Maj. Scott Stephenson, the director of Utah's police academy and who oversees discipline investigations, said his staff was seeking an 18-month suspension for Anderson because a blood-alcohol test showed Anderson had "twice the legal limit" of alcohol when he was arrested.

After some questioning about his use of alcohol — Anderson said he still had a glass of wine or a beer with dinner — the council gave him the one-year suspension.

The suspension is retroactive to when Anderson left the Salt Lake City police, meaning Anderson is eligible to return to law enforcement this summer, if a department will hire him.

Peace officers facing discipline are not required to appear before the council, and only a few do.

Also on Thursday, the council revoked the police certification of Daniel J. Kotter. He was a reserve police officer in Perry in 2011 when he offered a state trooper $1,000 to not appear in court for Kotter's friend's drunken-driving case.

Kotter, 35, pleaded guilty in state court to a felony count of bribery in November 2012. His sentencing is scheduled for April 4. Kotter was fired two days after criminal charges were filed.

The council gave a two-year suspension to Cameron G. Carter. Carter was a UHP trooper who accessed the state's driver license database, found personal information on people and entered that information in UHP's computer system to make it appear he had pulled over those people or arrested them. Stephenson told the council that Carter was trying to improve his performance statistics. Carter resigned from UHP in December.

Other discipline administered Thursday:

• Summer Knots received a one-year suspension for driving under the influence. Knotts was not employed by any police force at the time of her arrest in July.

• Boone R. Thomas received a one-year suspension for retail theft. Thomas worked for the Utah Department of Corrections but resigned in April.

• Matthew Hadley also worked for Corrections. He received a one-year suspension for electronic communications harassment. He was fired in October.

• Ryan D. Nielsen received a six-month suspension for intoxication and disorderly conduct. Nielsen was a Unified Police Department officer but resigned in October.

ncarlisle@sltrib.com

Twitter: @natecarlisle