Los Angeles

Charges Against Former LAPD Commander Dismissed

Criminal charges were dismissed this week against former Los Angeles Police Department Commander Nicole Mehringer, who was accused of being drunk in public following a traffic incident in Glendale.

Court records showed the case was dropped Monday. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office could not immediately confirm the reason for the dismissal.

Mehringer faced an internal LAPD trial board following the incident in Glendale and was fired. Earlier this year she filed a petition in court to try to overturn that decision, and said in legal papers the trial board, called a Board of Rights, was unfair and violated rules of evidence and due process.

Mehringer's legal filing also claimed that the two members of the LAPD command staff, who sat on Mehringer's Board and voted in favor of her termination, were then promoted.

Mehringer's employment troubles with the LAPD began on April 27, 2018, when she was recorded on cellphone video being led out of an unmarked LAPD sedan by several Glendale Police Department officers. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office charged her with a single misdemeanor count of being drunk in public. Mehringer pleaded not guilty.

According to the writ, audio recordings made by Glendale officers that night and several cellphone video recordings made at the scene were never fully produced as evidence during the Board of Rights, and it said the cellphone video recordings may have been destroyed while in the possession of police.

"The cumulative effect of these due process violations was to deny Petitioner a fair hearing, which lead to an arbitrary, capricious, and malicious termination in violation of the law," the petition said.

Mehringer's filing also said she was unjustly denied an opportunity to investigate the trial board's punishment of male LAPD command-level officers caught violating Department policy or laws related to alcohol and drinking and driving.

Mehringer has also filed a separate lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles that said she was the victim of gender discrimination. That case alleged that she was treated more harshly than male officers who were found guilty of far more serious violations. She also filed a governmental claim last year against the City of Glendale that alleged her detention by the police there was improper.

That claim accused the officers of false arrest, false imprisonment, defamation, and other alleged harms during the incident on Brand Boulevard. A claim generally has to be filed before a city can be sued in state court.

The Glendale Police Department did not comment on the claim. An LAPD sergeant who worked with Mehringer pleaded not guilty to DUI charges stemming from the same incident in Glendale. James Kelly was allegedly found asleep in the driver's seat of the same Dodge sedan.

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