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California Briefing / SAN DIEGO

Officer is denied $50,000 payment

August 05, 2008|Tony Perry

City Atty. Michael Aguirre refused Monday to approve a $50,000 payment to a San Diego police officer whose police dog died of heat stroke after being left in a squad car.

The payment, endorsed by the City Council, was to be Officer Paul Hubka's share of a settlement of a lawsuit filed by three police officers against the city alleging that they deserve extra pay for their duties as canine officers.

"I cannot justify payment of $50,000 to a police officer for care of an animal that he allowed to die under his protection," Aguirre said in a statement.

Forest, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, died June 20 after being left in Hubka's car outside his home in Alpine on a day when the temperature exceeded 100 degrees.

A necropsy determined the dog died of heat stroke.

The county district attorney's office is determining whether Hubka should be charged under a state law making it a crime to leave an animal in a closed car on a hot day.

-- Tony Perry

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