05/02/2006

Tenn. police officer suspension upheld

Copyright 2006 Chattanooga Publishing Company

By GINNY LAROE
CHATTANOOGA TIMES FREE PRESS 

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — A Chattanooga City Council panel on Monday upheld the 28-day suspension of a sergeant accused of arresting a woman last year without cause.

Sgt. Leigh Noorbergen was suspended for 28 days without pay and ordered to attend anger management after an internal affairs investigation determined she arrested a woman without just cause, filed a false police report and was untruthful during the investigation, according to an internal affairs report.

Sgt. Noorbergen, who is back on patrol after serving her suspension, said she disagrees with the council's decision and feels she made an appropriate arrest.

She has been with the department for 15 years.

Valerie Myers was arrested in October and charged with disorderly conduct after an incident at a Central Avenue gas station.

Sgt. Noorbergen claimed the woman was loud and then resisted arrest.

"There was a lack of factual evidence to support this charge," Chattanooga Police Chief Steve Parks said during testimony.

The disorderly conduct charges against Ms. Myers were dismissed, according to the internal affairs report.

"If this is representative of what they have on the police force, it's really disheartening and sad," Ms. Myers said about her experience with the officer.

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