6/19/2013 1:53:00 PM Prescott Valley officers disciplined in photo radar flap
Ken Hedler Special to the Tribune
The Police Department has disciplined two Prescott Valley police officers who rejected photo-enforcement violations involving one of their wives, but the two will get to keep their jobs.
Interim Police Chief James Edelstein announced Wednesday that Lt. Wayne Nelson took a 10 percent pay cut effective April 8, has been reassigned from the traffic division, and has been placed on probation for a year.
Sgt. Mark Postula took a 7 percent pay cut effective April 12 and also will be on probation for a year. While he is removed from photo enforcement duties, Postula remains with the traffic division.
The disciplinary action against both men follows the release of an audit of the photo enforcement program, an internal investigation and an appeal process, Administrative Sgt. Brandon Bonney. The appeal process went past Edelstein to Town Manager Larry Tarkowski.
The audit, conducted by former Paradise Valley Police Chief John Wintersteen, reported Postula admitting that he rejected seven speeding violations involving his wife over a four-year period. Nelson was Postula's supervisor at the time.
"They should have sent the notice of violation to the house and handled it as a private citizen," Edelstein said. Like an ordinary citizen, Postula could have chosen not to "nominate," or name his wife as the driver of the vehicle that activated the photo-enforcement cameras by driving at least 11 miles fasters than the posted speed limit.
Both Edelstein and Bonney said Postula and Nelson had stellar records. They have a combined 40 years of service to the department.
"They made a mistake and they are paying for it," Edelstein said.
Postula and Nelson were unavailable for comment Wednesday morning.