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Officers accused of wrongdoing are off Glendale police force

August 19, 2011 |  7:17 am

Two Glendale police officers who were put on administrative leave are no longer working for the department, officials said.

Police spokesman Sgt. Tom Lorenz told the Glendale News-Press that Officer Michael Lizarraga was officially separated from the department as of Aug. 2; Officer Marc Mendoza was separated on June 22.

Police officials declined to comment on the cause for their separation, citing personnel matters.

Lizarraga and Mendoza were the latest officers to be cut from the department since April, when one of three officers who allegedly took a patrol car on a joyride to Las Vegas was fired. The other two officers allegedly involved in that incident were fired in March.

Glendale Police Chief Ron De Pompa on Thursday declined to discuss specific cases, but said the department is made up of people who are only human and who sometimes make mistakes.

“Occasionally, when they do, we take the appropriate corrective action,” he said, adding that despite the incidents, “this is a highly professional organization.”

Lizarraga is being sued by Glendale attorney Robert Yousefian, who claims the officer improperly arrested him on drug and assault charges in August 2007. At the time, Lizarraga was involved in an affair with Yousefian’s estranged wife, Nora Yousefian.

[Correction, Friday 8:19 a.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the latest officers dismissed from the department were involved in a Las Vegas joyride. Police have in fact not stated to reason for their dismissal.]

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--Veronica Rocha, Times Community News

 

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