Thursday, September 20, 2012

It Hasn't Been a Good Week to Be a Local Government Employee [UPDATED]

Posted By on Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Working for the City of Tucson or Pima County does not absolve one of the law, seven current or former government employees have found out this week.

Five corrections officers from the Pima County Jail were arrested by Tucson police Wednesday — and booked into their own jail, mind you — on various aggravated assault charges after they allegedly viciously beating and kicking three adults and a juvenile outside the Buffet Bar on 9th Street.

The incident happened about 2 a.m. Wednesday, and according to police began when a man trying to unlock his bike in front of the Buffet was jumped by five men. After getting a friend from inside the bar to come help him retrieve the bike the same five men attacked those two until bar employees came out to break up the fight.

A few minutes later, though, the suspects returned and started kicking one of the victims while on the ground, police said. A resident from the area and his 17-year-old son left their house and went to the scene to try and break it up but instead both were attacked by one of the alleged assailants, police said.

None of the suspects were at the scene when police arrived, but later Wednesday police managed to arrest John Hyatt, 30; Steven Haglund, 26; Anthony Bonfiglio, 25; Matthew Garcia, 24; and Angel Castaneda, 23.

UPDATE: Haglund and Castaneda were fired Thursday by the Pima County Sheriff's Department, while 10 others — the other three arrestees and five more corrections officers who were apparently at the bar during the incident — have been put on administrative leave.

Earlier this week it was the City of Tucson's employees (or former employees, rather) who came afoul of the law.

Two recently fired city transportation workers were indicted Monday on felony counts of fraud, theft and criminal enterprise stemming from their alleged misuse of city equipment to do private jobs. Kurt Hough, a former administrator for the streets division, and Bobby Palomarez, a former streets supervisor, are scheduled to be arraigned next week in Pima County Superior Court.

Hough and Palomarez were among five transportation employees who resigned or were fired earlier this month after a nearly year-long investigation by the city found numerous times when the employees did unauthorized work, including building a retaining wall for an electrician's facility and paving the roads leading into a cemetery.

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