May 22—A decertification hearing that could end a Lewiston police officer’s law enforcement career is under way at the Nez Perce County Courthouse.
A hearing officer from the Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training program at Meridian began taking testimony Monday morning in a closed hearing regarding allegations of off-duty misconduct by Officer Richard Fuentes, a seven-year veteran of the department.
The hearing was expected to continue into today.
Lewiston Police Chief Steven Orr said Monday his department conducted an internal investigation into the allegations last year. The incident occurred in 2010. “I took the appropriate action to modify that behavior so there wasn’t a repeat of it.”
His opinion, Orr said, is that decertification isn’t warranted in the matter. “If I thought he should have been decertified, I would have requested that from POST.”
POST decided after corrective action was taken by the department to initiate the decertification hearing, he said. “It’s my understanding that they received an anonymous letter.”
Orr declined to give specifics about the complaint because it involves a personnel matter protected by law. He did confirm the incident involved a party attended by both department employees and civilians.