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D.C. police ordered to rehire cop fired after encounter with prostitute

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Local,DC,Crime,Scott McCabe,Law Enforcement

A former D.C. police officer who was twice fired after being observed in the company of a transvestite prostitute has been reinstated.

Administrative Judge Lois Hochhauser last month ordered the District to rehire Officer Stanley Barker and issue him back pay for the incident which occurred more than 10 years ago.

According to court documents, shortly after midnight on April 5, 2002, a D.C. patrol officer observed Barker in a dark alley that was a "known area of prostitution."

The officer saw a male prostitute's head in Barker's lap, and Barker got out of the car holding a condom.

Barker refused to obey the officer's orders, and the officer pulled out his weapon and requested backup, documents said. Barker was not charged with a crime.

A year later, the police department notified Barker that it was going to initiate firing proceedings over the incident for making false statements and for being a discredit to the department.

Barker, who had been with the police force since 1991, was fired in October 2003 but reinstated four years later because a judge determined that police officials did not begin the firing process within 55 days after learning of the incident.

Barker was one of two dozen officers who had been reinstated for technical reasons, and D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier announced in 2008 that she was going to refire them, citing a city rule that prohibits reversing a disciplinary action against an employee based on technicalities such as missed deadlines.

On Sept. 25, 2008, the department notified Barker that it was firing him again, citing a July 30, 2008, letter from prosecutors saying that Barker had been placed on its list of untrustworthy police officers, known in the District as the Lewis List.

Barker would likely never be called to testify because his credibility would damage criminal cases, prosecutors wrote.

During termination proceedings, police officials argued that Barker's inability to serve as a witness made him unfit for essential police duty.

But Hochhauser found that Barker had been placed on the Lewis List for making false statements in two separate incidents before 2003.

Because he had not been fired for those similar wrongdoings, Hochhauser determined that Barker couldn't be fired this time either.

Hochhauser also determined that the department did not begin to fire Barker in a timely matter because officials knew long before 2008 that he had a credibility problem.

smccabe@washingtonexaminer.com

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