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Los Angeles

Officer to Keep Job After DUI

January 10, 2003|Jean Guccione | Times Staff Writer

A veteran Los Angeles police officer on probation for drunk driving will retain his job, his attorney said Thursday.

John Joseph Leonard, 61, was sentenced to three years' probation last month on misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence and causing injury. The charges arose from an incident last Jan. 29 when Leonard, after having a few drinks with friends at a Moose Lodge near his Canoga Park home, crashed his truck into a palm tree and metal post, seriously injuring his 70-year-old passenger.

The Los Angeles Police Department's Board of Rights decided Wednesday to allow Leonard, a first-time offender who has been an LAPD officer for 31 years, to remain on the force, his attorney Ira Salzman said.

As a condition, Leonard agreed to complete a one-year contract for rehabilitation that includes Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. He was charged with two felony counts of driving under the influence relating to the car crash, which were later reduced to misdemeanors.

He had been relieved of his duties without pay since August.

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