At a hearing Monday, Superior Police Officers reportedly spoke very highly of their colleague Kirk Babic. Their words appear to have paid off, considering a law enforcement commission has decided that Babic will keep his job despite having stolen over $5,000 from his fellow officers in the department.
The Superior Telegram reports that the 20-year-veteran admitted to stealing more than $5,000 from fellow officers through an account established for voluntary contributions to maintain and equip the law enforcement fitness center. The Superior Police and Fire Commission has called for Babic to serve a 60-day suspension, two-year last chance agreement, 480 hours voluntary police training and counseling through the city's Human Resources Department. Babic already paid back the $5,087.22 he stole after a police investigation revealed what he owed.
The Telegram reveals that Babic's attorney won over the panel by presenting numerous other cases where officers have faced criminal charges but still kept their jobs:
"Among them a police captain who admitted to drinking and driving when he was involved in a hit and run, an officer accused of an incident of road rage, an officer who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after a charge of domestic abuse fifth-degree was dismissed, and an officer found guilty of providing false statements in court 17 years ago. Then-Police Chief Doyle Barker had sought termination, but the commission opted for suspension and training."
Police Chief Floyd Peters testified Friday that those incidents were isolated, while Babic’s infractions occurred several times between 2004 and 2011. The Telgram reports that an attorney representing the city told the commission that taxpayers "would be befuddled by a decision that didn’t include termination after six other city employees either resigned or were terminated after stealing money."
“Now we got a Police and Fire Commission that says a guy who admits to felony theft can still carry a gun and a badge," Korom said.
Fox 21 reports on the show of support towards Babic from many fellow officers at Monday's hearing:
"They expressed how much Babic is an asset to the department and how they want him to keep his job.
'He is the best man I know,' said Superior Police Officer William Braman. 'He’s an honest man full of compassion and he does a great job for the Superior Police Department.'
'He’s always got a sense of humor, pleasure to be around and always enjoyed working with him,' said Superior Police Department Officer Joseph Krieg.
'I think if you terminate this employee you’re going to do a disservice to the community, he’s an outstanding officer,' said Braman."
Babic is reportedly "remorseful" for his actions. The 46-year-old has been on paid administrative leave since June.
Babic has also been charged with felony theft in Douglas County Circuit Court, but wont make an appearence on the allegation until November 16.