The Augusta Chronicle reports that a former Tybee Island police officer is in legal hot water after being indicted by the Chatham County grand jury on bribery charges involving a 2006 DUI arrest. Prosecutors allege that Jose A. Prichardo, a rookie officer with the Tybee Police Department, took $500 as a bribe from a driver on Sept. 25, 2006 to negate a DUI charge after it had been filed.
The indictment further alleges that Prichardo gave the motorist, Gregory Michael Tyre, a reasonable cause to believe that the then officer would make the DUI charge go away if he paid him the money. The indictment also states that Prichardo did many things out of the ordinary to help Tyre’s DUI charge get dismissed.
He reportedly did not provide results of Tyre’s blood tests to the prosecutor thereby ensuring that there would be no evidence of blood alcohol in the case. The officer then deliberately failed to show up in court, leading to the dismissal of the DUI charge, the newspaper reported.
According to the article, Tybee Police Chief had already fired the 23-year-old police officer for violating department standards and not being able to perform to departmental standards. The officer was reportedly still on probation for his job when he was fired. The said incident occurred only five months after he was hired.
This is an interesting article. It would be interesting when more facts come out during the trial of this officer, who was clearly having other problems performing his functions as a police officer. A Georgia DUI arrest is probably the most common type of arrest an officer will make in his or her career in law enforcement. It is important that police departments ensure that their officers perform to the highest standards.
Many of our clients suffer because a lot of police officers do not follow proper procedures while making a DUI arrest. Studies over the years have shown frequent instances of officers not knowing how to conduct a field sobriety test properly. Sometimes, it is frightening to think that our lives and our future could rest in the hands of a police officer.