Chattanooga officer fired over allegations of theft

Associated Press • Apr 14, 2007 at 9:48 AM

CHATTANOOGA - A Chattanooga police officer has been fired after an investigation into allegations of theft and other misconduct, officials said.

Laurence Goodine was terminated after two years with the Chattanooga Police Department, police spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Noorbergen said in a news release on Friday.

Goodine had been on administrative leave since last month while internal affairs investigators looked into several accusations against him, which included theft, improper search, improper procedure, filing false reports and untruthfulness.

The allegations were upheld after a disciplinary hearing Friday afternoon, Noorbergen said.

"We have initiated a criminal investigation at this point," Chief Freeman Cooper said after the hearing.

Goodine contends he does not deserve to be fired and is contemplating bringing his case before a City Council appeal panel, according to Sgt. Julie Dean, president of the local chapter of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers.

Cooper said he could not comment on specifics of the alleged misconduct, including how much money Goodine is believed to have taken. The criminal investigation, which will be overseen by Assistant Chief Bobby Dodd, will determine the scope of any possible illegal activity and whether any other officers were involved, he said. (AP) Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, www.timesfreepress.com AP-CS-04-14-07 1907EDT

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