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In re Mayfield

June 3, 2010

IN THE MATTER OF TORRES MAYFIELD.


On appeal from a Final Decision of the Civil Service Commission, Docket No. 2007-2992.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued May 19, 2010

Before Judges Waugh and Fasciale.

Torres Mayfield appeals from the final decision of the Civil Service Commission (Commission) terminating him as an Atlantic City police officer for misconduct. We affirm.

Mayfield was charged with violations of Atlantic City Police Department (Department) Rules and Regulations relating to domestic disputes involving J.M. (who is deaf) and S.Q. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) conducted extensive hearings and found that Mayfield assaulted J.M. and was untruthful in his response to the investigation. The ALJ dismissed the charges related to S.Q. as untimely. The Commission adopted the findings of fact made by the ALJ and found the termination of Mayfield as a police officer was justified.

In the early morning hours on April 1, 2006, J.M. sought help from police complaining that she was assaulted by her boyfriend, Mayfield. She was bruised and beaten by Mayfield because he thought she was communicating on the computer with an old boyfriend. Mayfield punched her in the face and threatened to hang himself if she left him. That night J.M. was distraught, upset and scared. She was treated in the hospital and photographed. The pictures confirm bruising on the left side of her face in at least three places, left upper arm and chest.

J.M. eventually dismissed her municipal court charges against Mayfield. She refused to testify at the administrative hearing. She did not want to testify against Mayfield because he is the father of her child and they resided together. She was arrested and forced to appear at the administrative hearing.

At the hearing she was defiant and appeared distraught, upset and scared.

During the investigation, Mayfield said that on the night in question he was with Rodney Jamal Armstrong and Ali Cottrell. Mayfield told the investigating detective that when they arrived at his house, J.M. said she was hit by a boot thrown by Mayfield's son. Armstrong testified he was at a club with Cottrell, but not Mayfield. Armstrong said Mayfield called him telling him and Cottrell about the boot.

The ALJ disbelieved the testimony from J.M. that she was struck by a boot. The injuries were not consistent with being struck by a boot, and it was clear to the ALJ that J.M. did not want to contribute to the case against Mayfield. The ALJ found that Mayfield was untruthful by attempting to create an alibi and blame his son.

The ALJ found that J.M. communicated effectively with the police at the scene and during the police interviews. The police enlisted a dispatcher familiar with American Sign Language to communicate with J.M. J.M. told the dispatcher Mayfield punched her in the face. She identified Mayfield as a police officer by making a circle signifying "badge" on her left breast. J.M. confirmed that it was the father who beat her by indicating that it was the taller of the two that assaulted her. She also used the sign for "senior" to refer to Mayfield.

The ALJ concluded that Mayfield was guilty of conduct unbecoming a public employee when he beat J.M. and lied during the investigation. The ALJ found that Mayfield not only abused J.M., but lied about it and attempted to procure false testimony from his ...


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