Local

Visalia Cop Placed on Administrative Leave

Friday, May 15, 2009

Bryan Pinto is considered one of Visalia's top police officers. When accused of misconduct once before he fought back, going all the way to the State Supreme Court to get his job back.

Pinto made news six years ago when he was fired from the department after being charged with sexual misconduct involving a teen aged boy.

A jury cleared him of the criminal charges, and when the city refused to put him back on the force, he went to court, and won reinstatement in 2006.

In 2008 Pinto received the officer of the year award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, for arresting 57 suspected drunk drivers.

Visalia police issued statement today which says an officer is on paid administrative leave pending results of an investigation into potential criminal conduct.

Action news has learned Bryan Pinto is that officer. We were unable to contact Pinto, and Visalia police administrators say they cannot comment on personnel matters.

The nature of the allegations against Pinto have not been made public. The department says an internal investigation is underway.

The city of Visalia spent nearly six hundred thousand dollars in legal costs in the failed effort to keep Pinto from getting his job back as a result of the sexual misconduct allegations in 2003.

The Fresno lawyer who represented Pinto in the case told Action News he has had no contact with Pinto on any current matter. The Tulare County District Attorney's office says no charges have been filed against him.

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