Posted: May 18, 2012 9:35 PM by News Staff (KTVQ Billings)
Updated: May 23, 2012 5:15 PM
BILLINGS- Billings police officer Paul Lamantia has entered into a last chance agreement to save his job.
On Friday afternoon Police Chief Rich St. John released details as to why Lamantia has been on paid administrative leave since January.
An internal investigation document shows Lamantia admits he violated several department policies and at issue is Lamantia's actions in the early morning hours of January 23rd.
That's when he took Janice and David Whiteman, both with blood alcohol levels exceeding three times the legal limit, from downtown Billings and dropped them off on Highway 87 North in freezing temperatures.
The document says Lamantia believed "...the Whitemans' would not get back to Billings and cause further problems."
Given the 20 degree temperatures, and by leaving the Whiteman's by the side of the highway, Lamantia admits he endangered them from passing vehicles, and the elements. The documents also point out that Lamantia did not turn on his in-car camera and surveillance system, and failed to contact any of his supervisors.
A Yellowstone County Sheriff's Deputy eventually picked up the Whiteman's along the highway, after receiving reports they were stumbling into traffic.
Lamantia's last chance agreement that he signed on Friday will last 24 months. He is also suspended without pay for two weeks, cannot apply for any specialty positions, must complete an ethics and integrity course, and must attend mandatory Cultural Diversity Training.
In addition he must write a letter of apology to the Whiteman's and Sheriff Mike Linder.
BPD recommended that Lamantia be fired for his "serious" misconduct, but termination was put on hold in order to see if he can abide by the last chance agreement.
For now, Chief Rich St. John is not commenting any further on the situation. But he did say that the police department sent this case to the Montana Attorney General's Office for possible criminal charges, but the Attorney General's office declined to prosecute.