D.C. police lieutenant gets his job back

Local,DC,Bill Myers

A D.C. police lieutenant has been brought back to work after six years of conflict with a department that once fired him -- for having been previously fired by them.

Tim Haselden had been arranging traffic cones at the police academy and drawing his $100,000-per year salary while he fought to be sent back on the streets. On Christmas Eve 2003, he was fired following a couple of angry confrontations with his wife. The department said he was a wife-beater. Haselden appealed and an administrative law judge held that, in fact, Haselden had tried to defuse the confrontations.

He was set to come back to work when a media outlet reported that rogue cops were sneaking back onto the force using legal technicalities. Embarrassed by the report, Attorney General Peter Nickles and Police Chief Cathy Lanier fired nearly two dozen officers, including Haselden. Nickles claimed that the false allegations against Haselden were bad enough that they had destroyed his credibility and prevented him from testifying in court.

"I'm going to be fired for being fired," the 42-year-old told The Examiner in an interview last year. "First they tried to ruin my reputation by saying I was a wife-beater. Then they tried to ruin my reputation by saying I have no credibility."

Lanier couldn't be reached Friday for comment.

But earlier this month, Haselden was handed his badge and gun and ordered to report to the 5th District.

"It's kind of a bittersweet conclusion," Haselden's lawyer, James Pressler, said. "This guy never should have been fired in the first place."

Haselden is in battle with his bosses over nearly $75,000 in legal fees. Pressler said his client shouldn't have to foot the bill.

The other officers who were fired alongside Haselden are working their way through the court system. Several were brought back to work through lawsuit settlements and they've filed new, multimillion-dollar lawsuits alleging that the city broke the original settlements. Earlier this summer, a police trial board ordered officer Timothy Holmes put back to work, ruling that his earlier settlement with the department was binding.

Lanier has ignored the trial board's ruling and on Wednesday formally fired Holmes.

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