Would You Want This Cop Stopping You on the Highway?

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on August 6th, 2012

If only this cop was the rare exception to the norm.  What makes it newsworthy is that the prosecutors finally did something about this one….

Transferred for Bad DUI Arrests, Pinellas Deputy Fighting to Get Old Job Back

Largo, FL.  July 30 – Pinellas County sheriff’s deputy John Hubbard is fighting to get his old job back after being transferred from patrol to bailiff last year.

That happened after an internal affairs investigation determined Hubbard’s DUI investigations "lacked important/sufficient information to prosecute the cases."

"Upon review of the COBAN videos relating to several of your DUI cases, you were found to be demeaning and abrasive towards citizens," Hubbard was told in a disciplinary memo. "… During meetings with Assistant State Attorneys, you made inappropriate and unprofessional comments."

Hubbard is appealing those findings and has a hearing scheduled for Aug. 9. He told Bay News 9 there are many reasons why he wants to get back to "keeping the streets safe."

“One, I’m very effective there, and two, I make a lot more money,” Hubbard said. “I had a take-home car, which was taken from me. I made 10 percent differential and I made a lot of overtime.”

According to an inter-office disciplinary memo, Hubbard was also suspended for 160 hours and had to undergo a fitness-for-duty evaluation.

Internal affairs officials investigated 38 arrests deputy Hubbard made between January 2010 and June 2011, all but one of which was for DUI. In 24 of those cases, the investigation found, the DUI charge was either dropped or reduced because either the suspect’s blood-alcohol content was barely at or under the legal limit of .08 or the driver refused the tests after interacting with Hubbard…

According to the report, internal affairs began investigating Hubbard when the assistant state attorney in charge of misdemeanors at the time, Holly Grissinger, called Lt. Glenn Luben at the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and notified him of a list of cases that were "either refusals or a low blow."…

Grissinger said prosecutors were not comfortable playing Hubbard’s videos for a jury because of Hubbard’s demeanor, according to the deposition.

"I felt that if those videos were broadcast, if the public saw those videos, that they would have a huge problem with his behavior and how he treated the people during a criminal investigation, whether they should have been arrested or not," she said…

Internal affairs investigators interviewed a couple more assistant state attorneys who complained about Hubbard.

According to the report, while assistant state attorney Dyana Sisti and Hubbard were watching a video together of a woman he arrested for DUI, the deputy said, “Yeah, yeah, shake your (expletive) honey,” as the woman stood in front of the cruiser…

According to the report, assistant state attorney Tony Carlow told investigators Hubbard told him he relies solely on the HGN test to determine sobriety in all his DUI investigations. "He does not care about the outcome of the field sobriety exercises," Carlow is quoted as saying…

During the investigated period, the report found, Hubbard arrested six drivers for DUI whose blood-alcohol content was under .08 and urine tests results for drugs came back clean. On the videos, Hubbard can be seen telling three of those drivers he believes they’re impaired based on their eyes.

"Well, the HGN that I checked your eyes … you miserably failed that," Hubbard said to one of those drivers.

According to the report, DUI expert Capt. Teresa Dioquino and Carlow both said Hubbard was doing the HGN test wrong.

“Deputy Hubbard is moving his pen from side to side too quickly to do the test properly,” Carlow said…

“I do feel like I do know what I’m doing,” Hubbard said. “I can check your eyes, a lot of people’s eyes, and I can tell … if it’s alcohol only and what their breath result will be.”

Dioquino, however, doesn’t agree.

"The training deficiencies are quite evident," she said…

This is the second time Hubbard has been demoted in his 24-year career with the sheriff’s office. According to reports, Hubbard was demoted from sergeant to patrol deputy in 2009 after it was determined he created a hostile work environment…

Sounds like this cop creates a hostile investigating environment, too.

  • Standup

    And the anti alcohol fanatics from MADD say… (The sound of tumble weeds)

  • Acasias01

    I dont think a cop who has a DUI on his record should be allowed to stop anyone who he think might be under the influence, for so many reasons. But my biggest reason is simple. He can be the cause of so many accidents. Being under the influence means his vision was inpaired and was not doing his job right.

  • NO, I would not want an officer like this STOPPING me EVER. Standardized field sobriety tests are ridiculous. The HGN test, which is reportedly the only one he “cares about” is not an indicator by itself of legal intoxication. 40 different things, like bumping your head, taking some medicine, etc can cause a person to fail the HGN test all of which have nothing to do will alcohol. Is it just me, or is this a no brainer for the police department?

  • Mary

    why have we not seen the outcome of his hearing? I know lots of people that have had dealings with him…

  • Tom Barnes

    This jerk needs to be fired. The DUI laws are out of control anyways and need to be brought down. Here in Michigan, iff-duty cops are almost always let go by the “brother” who pulled the dunk over. Our famous L. Brooks Pattereson of Michigan’s Oakland County has been stopped multiple times driving VERY drunk and has never once been arrested. Patterson is a former prosecutor who oversaw the prosecutiion of thousands of people who were arrested for drinking and driving in his county. He made sure they were punished to the limits of these totally unfair DUI laws, yet he was let off the hook every time he was stopped. The fact that these laws are often not applied to off-duty cops, judges who drink and drive and get caughts, and public officials like L. Brooks Patterson make these laws unconstitutional and null and void. They need to be either applied to every citizen in the same way or scrap the laws!