Goodyear police officer fired by chiefPosted: Updated:
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Goodyear Police Department is in the midst of a shakeup. A recently hired lieutenant was fired by the chief amid allegations of domestic abuse.
Former Lieutenant Kim Celaya had been with the Goodyear Police Department for about a year and a half. Most recently, she had ties to the patrol division. Celaya had been hired from a department in Yuma.
Goodyear Police Chief Jerry Geier told 3TV that this all started in November, when investigators received some information about potential policy violations involving off-duty incidents.
Lieutenant Celaya was placed on administrative leave, but then the complaints were reportedly substantiated, and she was fired.
According to a case summary obtained by 3TV, Celaya was involved in a misdemeanor domestic violence incident with her boyfriend. While under the influence of alcohol and off-duty in a car, the summary said, she punched and kicked him in the head and the neck to the point that someone else had to wrestle her away.
Medical attention was needed, and Celaya was not forthcoming about details when questioned by investigators, according to Goodyear spokeswoman Lisa Kutis.
Chief Geier tells 3TV he wants transparency in the agency, and that the alleged violations were serious enough to warrant termination.
"When we get a complaint on a police officer we take those very seriously," says Chief Geier. "We have very thorough internal investigations that follow, and discipline policies and parameters that determine the amount of discipline that goes with certain violations."
Celaya said in a statement that she does not agree with the decision to fire her, but she will not appeal the decision because she does not want to return to the Goodyear Police Department.
Part of Lieutenant Celaya's job was to help officers grow professionally within their ranks as part of a hiring and recruitment unit.