Nine Utah cops disciplined for misconduct

SANDY — Nine police officers in Utah faced discipline for allegations of misconduct.

At its quarterly meeting, the Utah Peace Officer Standards & Training Council voted for various punishment ranging from a letter of warning to revocation of officers’ badges.

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The officers disciplined are:

  • Shaun Bingham, a former Salt Lake County Sheriff’s deputy, who received a three-year suspension for use or possession of a controlled substance. POST said he admitted to marijuana use.
  • LeTerrio Henry, a former Utah Dept. of Corrections officer, received a two-year suspension for driving under the influence stemming from a 2016 accident.
  • Mariano Lopez, an unemployed officer, who received a three month suspension for intoxication that POST said stemmed from an altercation last year.
  • Lonnie Martinez, a retired Salt Lake County Sheriff’s deputy, who received a one-year suspension. POST said Martinez filled out paperwork claiming to do jail security checks that he did not do.
  • Tyson Mooney, a former Salt Lake County Sheriff’s deputy, whose badge was revoked following accusations of aggravated assault and domestic violence in the presence of a child.
  • A Utah Transit Authority officer received a letter of caution, essentially a warning, after POST said he failed to disclose on a job application that he had been in rehab for a prescription drug problem. The man told POST Council he was desperate to land a job to provide for his family, and once the UTA chief found out about it, hired him anyway.
  • Christopher Smith, a former Utah Department of Natural Resources officer and Hurricane police officer, received a three year suspension after POST said he engaged in numerous instances of sexual conduct on duty with a fellow employee.Smith appeared before the POST Council and apologized.

    “I’m ashamed for myself and what I’ve done and know I’ve let a lot of people down, including my department, my co-workers, my family, friends. Even more than that I’ve tarnished the family name,” he said.

    Beaver County Sheriff Cameron Noel recommended only a year’s suspension, telling the council that while he didn’t condone what happened, it is not a criminal offense. The council voted for the three-year suspension, one year less than POST recommended.

  • Amber Kay Steele, a former St. George police officer, had her badge revoked after POST alleged she was involved in a domestic violence-related assault. After being booked for the assault and intoxication, POST investigators said she was released from jail and went home in violation of a no-contact order.
  • Jonathan Garth Tesch, who was not employed by an agency at the time, received a two-and-a-half year suspension for DUI.