Sitka police lieutenant will not be prosecuted

Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2002

The state's Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals will not pursue criminal prosecution against Sitka Police Lt. John Baeza, Police Chief Bill McLendon announced Jan. 8 in a news release.

Baeza has been on paid administrative leave since a Nov. 19 incident that occurred between him and a citizen at the man's place of business.

Alaska State Troopers investigated Baeza's conduct in the matter, and presented a report.

"What we asked was that a clean review, independent of the police department regarding Lt. Baeza's conduct, be done to determine whether or not what occurred could be construed as criminal conduct," McLendon said.

"I was told that after careful review of the materials regarding the investigation, OSPA has concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove Lt. Baeza committed any crime beyond a reasonable doubt."

A separate investigation is being conducted internally by the Sitka Police Department.

"We didn't want any appearance of improprieties, so we asked for a totally independent review," McLendon said. "Now that the outcome of that investigation is clear, we can get on with the internal affairs investigation dealing with the incident."

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