Police career may be finished
Gary Tabor's 26-year police career is in the hands of Chief Norman Williams, thanks to a no-contest plea to two domestic violence counts.
BY RON SYLVESTERThe Wichita Eagle
Gary Tabor's long police career could end as a result of a conviction for striking his wife and another woman.
Tabor, a former Wichita police captain who was demoted last year to detective, pleaded no contest this week to two counts of misdemeanor domestic battery. Paperwork to complete the case was filed Thursday in Sedgwick County District Court.
Judge Greg Waller sentenced Tabor to six months probation. But Tabor's biggest penalty could be the loss of a career that's been mired in controversy for more than a year.
The Wichita city code says the chief of police determines if an officer convicted of a crime can remain on the force. Chief Norman Williams was out of town and unavailable for comment on Thursday.
But the ordinance says Williams' decision must consider state and federal law.
State law requires permanent revocation of a law enforcement officer's certification upon a conviction for domestic battery. It also says a conviction disqualifies a person from being a law enforcement officer.
The Federal Gun Control Act of 1996, meanwhile, prevents anyone convicted of a domestic violence crime from carrying a firearm or ammunition.
"Such a prohibition would disqualify the employee from serving in a commissioned (gun-carrying) position," the city ordinance reads.
A 26-year-old Jackson County sheriff's officer had his certification revoked earlier this month because of domestic battery.
Tabor has been with the Wichita police for 26 years.
On Feb. 4, a jury found Tabor not guilty of intentionally allowing two officers to stay on the city's payroll while they helped him Sheetrock his basement.
The Wichita Police Department, however, demoted Tabor three ranks to detective, and he continued to stay on medical leave, citing post-traumatic stress.
Then in July, the Sedgwick County district attorney's office filed domestic battery charges against him. Tabor's plea this week admitted that the state had enough evidence to convict him of battering his wife, Gayle, and Lawana Coleman.
Christopher McHugh, Tabor's lawyer, did not return phone calls from The Eagle on Thursday.
News Story Here: http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/news/13668455.htm
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