H-SANTA MARIA

Mar 19, 2013 5:58 PM by Caroline Lowe, KSBY News

Sources:Fired SMPD managers in Covarrubias case are a commander and a lieutenant

KSBY News has learned two managers fired by Santa Maria Police Chief Ralph Martin in connection with the fatal shooting of Officer Albert Covarrubias, Jr., include a commander and a lieutenant.

The managers had ten days to appeal their terminations which happened March 7th.

City officials, including Chief Martin, refused Tuesday to say whether the managers have notified them if they plan to fight to keep their jobs.

Seven other officers also received letters of reprimand in connection with the Covarrubias case.

According to a report on the shooting released last summer by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney, the commander and lieutenant made the decision to arrest Covarrubias while he was on duty at a DUI checkpoint in Santa Maria.

At the time, Covarrubias was being investigated on allegations he had been involved in a sexual relationship with a teenage female police explorer.

Police officials said a fellow officer shot Covarrubias after he fired his gun while two supervisors were trying to arrest him in Santa Maria in January of 2012.

The district attorney's office found the shooting to be legally justified.

District Attorney Joyce Dudley also announced last week her office did a follow-up investigation on the case and determined "Based upon our independent review, we find there is no evidence of underlying criminal violations by any Santa Maria Police Department personnel with respect to this matter."

Chief Martin decided to fire the managers, and give letters of reprimand to seven officers, after reviewing a lengthy internal affairs investigation of the case. That investigation was conducted by two outside retired investigators.

Last November, the city approved a $185,000 settlement with the police explorer.

To read the complete report by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office on the Covarrubias shooting, click here.

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