LA VERGNE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Former La Vergne Patrol Officer Jose Lugo-Perez and former K-9 Sgt. Lewis Powell faced the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission for an informal hearing Thursday, but both waived their opportunity to explain themselves before their cases go to the full POST Commission.
The La Vergne Police Department asked the state that four out of the five former officers who were fired for their alleged involvement in a sex scandal be decertified, which means they would never be able to work as law enforcement officers again.
Lugo-Perez and Powell attended their informal hearings in person Thursday. There, the commission would have asked them questions regarding their cases and given them the chance to explain themselves before members would make a recommendation to the full POST Commission.
Instead, Lugo-Perez’s and Powell’s attorney asked the commission if the two former officers could waive their informal hearing to give more time for additional evidence to be released.
“We would like to ask the committee to waive this hearing and set this for a formal hearing before the full commission so that evidence can be presented that has not been brought forth and at this time is still developing based upon the actions in La Vergne, including the chief of police being terminated and some of his actions during the investigation of this matter,” Lugo-Perez’s and Powell’s attorney, Jack Byrd said.
The commission granted their request.
The female officer was also set to have her informal hearing with the POST Commission Thursday, but her attorney requested the commission put her case on pause until pending legal matters can be resolved.
Commission members granted her request, and now her case is considered “pending.”
Lugo-Perez’s and Powell’s cases will be presented before the full POST Commission at a later date. The commission will then decide whether the former officers should be decertified.
In the case of decertification, the former officers have 30 days to appeal the decision. Their cases would then move to trial.