A Los Angeles Police Department Board of Rights Tuesday evening recommended firing a commander who was arrested earlier this year in Glendale and charged with being drunk in public.
The Board of Rights found Nicole Mehringer, a 22-year LAPD veteran, violated department policies following her April 27 arrest. Mehringer was relieved of duty shortly after charges against her were announced.
Her attorney, Brad Gage, said the department employed a double-standard concerning how it disciplined Mehringer.
“I believe that my client is being treated differently than the male employees,” Gage said. “I believe there is evidence that male employees have been charged with greater allegations and have not even been disciplined at all.”
Gage said he would go to Superior Court to file an appeal to the board’s decision, CBS2 reported.
Mehrigner and Sgt. James Kelly, both 47, were taken into custody after they were found inside an unmarked police vehicle near Lomita Avenue and Brand Boulevard in Glendale about 1 a.m. April 27. Kelly was charged with a misdemeanor count of DUI. Both pleaded not guilty to their charges in October.
A witness shot video of the scene the morning of the incident that was aired by Fox11, showing Glendale police helping Mehringer, who tried to hide her face with her shirt, to a curb where she sat quietly.
The video also showed police administering field-sobriety tests to Kelly, who repeatedly stumbles and struggles to walk a straight line. The witness told Fox11 Kelly had been driving the car, which struck a parked Mercedes-Benz. The witness said it took Glendale police about 20 minutes to revive the seemingly unconscious pair inside the car and escort them out of the vehicle, Fox11 reported.
Kelly and Mehringer were both assigned to the LAPD’s Employee Relations Group. Both were released from custody later that morning.
Then-LAPD Chief Charlie Beck released a statement saying he had “been briefed on the circumstances of these arrests and am extremely concerned about the allegations.” He said then that the LAPD had initiated personnel investigations that “can result in serious consequences.”
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