TAMPA, Florida - According to an internal affairs investigation Officers Antonio Ortega and Paul Madsen arrived at Penthouse Club and started drinking before work around 1:30 in the afternoon of Friday November 9th.
Part of the undercover ROC squad, the two were in an unmarked Tampa Police vehicle wearing plain clothes. But when it came time to start their shift, Police Chief Jane Castor says the officers notified a supervisor they were on the clock.
"One of the officers logged both of them into work via their computer or mobile digital terminal and also called their supervisor telling them they were out in the field working," said Chief Castor.
But Chief Castor says the two officers weren't working, instead getting drunk surrounded by naked women for hours into their shift until around 8:00 that night.
"Both the Corporal and Sergeant tried to get a hold of these officers and were unable to for an extended period of time and when they finally did make contact, they were able to get one of the officers to tell them where they were at, at which time they went to that location and confronted both officers whose condition was described as highly intoxicated."
Supervisors say Officer Madsen became belligerent in the parking lot before he and his partner were eventually sent home with a friend. Supervisors then waited until after the holiday weekend to report what happened instead of initiating an immediate investigation and checking the officer's blood alcohol level.
"We hold our officers to very, very high standards and our supervisors as well. And that's the reason these supervisors received the discipline they did because they weren't doing their job that night," said Castor.
Chief Castor calls the incident a black eye for the entire agency.
"This behavior does not reflect the hard work of the men and women of the Tampa Police Department. It's very embarrassing to me personally and to all of our officers and the citizens deserve better."
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