By Kathryn Reed
South Lake Tahoe police Officer Johnny Poland turned in his badge and gun Nov. 15, with Wednesday being his first day on paid administrative leave.
“He is under federal criminal investigation. It would be inappropriate for him to continue to serve in a day-to-day capacity,” City Manager Tony O’Rourke told Lake Tahoe News. “It doesn’t reflect any guilt. It reflects the process that needs to run its course so we can determine if there were any serious violations of the law.”
Poland was not available for comment. Nor was Police Chief Brian Uhler.
O’Rourke would not elaborate on what Poland is being accused of. He said the investigation is being handled by the Department of Justice. He said the allegations are “criminal in nature.” And he said whatever might have happened occurred was while Poland was “in the capacity of a police officer.”
“It’s just an investigation. It reached the point and time that it would be awkward for both the department and Johnny for him to be an active police officer,” O’Rourke said.
Poland, who has been with the department for 12 years, was fired by the department in 2007 for an incident stemming from 2006. He fought that case and eventually was reinstated.