Bad Cop! From the Law Office of Matthew A. Marner

Please read the following post from the Law Office of Matthew A. Marner about his success in getting a local police officer removed from the force and terminated for good due to his habitual disrespect for the judicial system and the constitutional rights of those he charged with crimes.

"A final note on my most career-defining case (so far). I finally received the findings of an internal investigation of a dirty cop that stemmed from a case I had in 2014.

As I have posted here before, I had a case back in 2014 where a police officer lied in pretrial interviews and perjured himself in trial. I told the prosecutors to no avail. They were less-experienced, wanted convictions, and I don't think really cared about the truth, but more about trying to win. It was incredibly frustrating that with a mountain of evidence of this officer's misconduct and dishonesty, they would not even consider dismissal. We held a 5 day trial and the jury ended up acquitting my client on all but the most minor charge (speeding). This case stuck with me. It made me so angry at the cop for everything he hid and lied about and the prosecutors who refused to acknowledge how dirty he was, despite all of the evidence from the beginning of the case until the end.

Fast-forward to 4 months after acquittal at trial. I still could not shake the fact that this officer should not be allowed to do what he did throughout the case and still have a badge. I wrote and filed a complaint with the Arizona law enforcement certification agency (think police licensing department), with very detailed and supported allegations of his in and out-of-court dishonesty and policy violations. I didn't believe that anything would come of it, because it hardly ever does. But, to me, this was taking it as far as I had the ability to go, in the interest of justice and to try to prevent this cop from doing what he did in the future.

Fast-forward another 6 months. Based on my complaint, the police agency did its own internal investigation. During the investigation, the cop was caught over and over again in his own lies. Internal vehicle data supported my allegations that he lied about material facts in the pursuit regarding both what my client was accused of, along with the cop's own actions. He acknowledged under investigation about material facts he wrote in his report and testified to, that he just made it up. When he was caught with his own lies about what he did, he simply said "okay." He stated this, out-of-court, only to police that were investigating hiim, well after the point when my client was exposed to life-altering consequences.This cop hid material evidence, lied in his reports, and perjured himself.

His agency sustained findings of in and out-of-court dishonesty. All the way up the chain of command, to the Director of his agency, every single person involved recommended he be terminated from the police force. The cop resigned in lieu of being fired. His department then forwarded their findings to the Arizona police certification agency. The certification agency found that the cop had been dishonest about his history of discipline for being dishonest in other cases. The cop gave up his police certification in lieu of contesting the allegations, and is no longer a cop. While he may hurt people in the future, he will not be able to do it under the authority of a badge.

Sometimes as a defense attorney, you feel like the universe just won't listen. That you can never get justice. That you just can't win. But every so often, this difficult and frustrating profession gives you a gift in knowing that when you were screaming at the skies begging for anyone to listen because you were telling the truth, that you were right. This case will remain one of the proudest of my career. It all started with a seemingly simple question in a pretrial interview. And we dug and dug and dug and did not quit. And a corrupt cop is no longer a cop.

And in conclusion, I'll share a quote that the cop made about me while being investigated in response to my complaint:

"The complaint Mr. Marner has filed against me I believe is for self promotion. Mr. Marner was a Public Defender when he was assigned the case with [client]. After having been assigned the case, he left the Public Defender’s Office and opened a private practice. Mr. Marner requested to keep [client’s] case specifically. I believe he did this because I am an easy target as I am on the Brady List [a list containing officers who have been found to have incidents of dishonesty, moral turpitude, or racial bias that are required to be disclosed to defense counsel]. It is my opinion he did just that so he could advertise he would not only fight for his clients, but go after the officers as well. In trial, Mr. Marner defended [client] far less than he attacked me. It was obvious that was his game plan from the start.”

Perhaps only my defense attorney friends will ever fully understand how proud I am of this quote. In one swoop, it shows that this cop knew I would never quit coming after him but oddly acknowledged that I would be my innocent client's gladiator, even as he shows that he doesn't understand that they are one in the same. You are right, former-cop. I will fight for my clients and go after the cops, and I will pronounce it to the world. I will defend not only my clients, but the Constitutions of the United States and Arizona, as I have sworn to do. I am a defense attorney."

Justice Served.