POST Council clears LPD officer Fuentes of alleged misconduct

LEWISTON, ID - A Lewiston Police Officer is not going to be decertified after a decision made by the Police Officer Standards and Training Council.

We bring you team coverage tonight with our sister station KBOI to get reaction to the decision regarding Officer Rick Fuentes.

"'Those in favor of the motion?' (council unanimously says) 'Aye.' 'It's been moved and seconded, motion has passed to not decertify Officer Fuentes," said POST.

It's been a long process but in a unanimous decision Thursday by the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council in Meridian, with one member abstaining. Officer Rick Fuentes won his appeal and will not be decertified. The possibility of decertification came about after an incident in October of 2010 involving another female officer. The alleged misconduct included unwarranted sexual acts with a female police department employee performed in an elevator."

"He's an officer in good standing," said Attorney Joe Filicetti.

Fuentes' attorney Joe Filicetti filed the appeal in regard to an initial investigation by a POST hearing officer who recommended Officer Fuentes for certification. Lewiston Police Department Chief Steve Orr said he reprimanded Fuentes after their internal investigation conducted by LPD and is happy that the POST Council chose not to vote in favor of the recommendation.

"The actions of the Lewiston Police Department were validated today with the POST Council's decision not to decertify Officer Fuentes," said Orr.

Filicetti said he believes the decision made Thursday will affect future investigations for POST.

"So I think what's going to happen is you're going to see a broad sweeping reforms of how POST investigates officers when they're accused of some type of wrongdoing," said Filicetti.

Orr said Fuentes is working full time at the Lewiston Police Department as an officer. The POST Council has also made a decision to allow the heads of various law enforcement agencies like Chief Orr at LPD to have more say in regard to recommendations for decertification in the future.