Schenectady

Internal investigation of police officer completed

Daniel Coppola previously pleaded guilty to a DWAI charge
Schenectady police Officer Daniel Coppola head to City Court on May 17.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Schenectady police Officer Daniel Coppola head to City Court on May 17.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

SCHENECTADY — The internal investigation of police Officer  Daniel Coppola, who pleaded guilty to a driving while ability impaired charge last week, has been completed, according to a department spokesman.

Sgt. Matt Dearing said discipline for Coppola is “forthcoming,” but said it is unclear whether it would involve a hearing.

“In regards to what [the discipline] is and how we get there, I don’t know,” Dearing said.

Public Safety Commissioner Michael Eidens, who presides over the discipline process for Fire, Police and Building departments employees, declined to comment on “pending discipline.”

Dearing said Coppola is still currently on desk duty. Coppola was listed in 2017 as earning a yearly pay of $65,519, according to SeeThroughNY.net.

Coppola was charged with driving while intoxicated after a car operated by a driver with a suspended license ran a red light and struck Coppola’s car, police said. 

This occurred on May 13 around 4 a.m. at the intersection of Broadway and Liberty Street, just three blocks from the Police Department.

Coppola still had a blood alcohol level of 0.12 percent more than two hours after the crash occurred, according to his arrest report. The report also showed Coppola told police he had been at 20 North Broadway and Union Inn, and that he only had two beers over the course of the evening.

The legal limit for driving drunk is 0.08 percent.

The other driver involved in the crash, Yireh Pino, 27, can be heard in a 911 call — obtained by The Daily Gazette through a Freedom of Information Law request — saying, “I just got T-boned.”

Coppola also called in the accident as well, Police Chief Eric Clifford previously said.

Pino was charged on May 18 with disobeying a traffic control device, a traffic violation, and misdemeanor third-degree unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

She was scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday to be arraigned on those charges, but she didn’t show up. A warrant been issued for her arrest, police said.

Attempts to reach Pino have been unsuccessful.

Coppola has since pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of DWAI. Because of this, he has to enroll in a victim impact panel and an impaired driver course. Judge Teneka Frost ordered Coppola’s license  suspended for 90 days. He was, however, granted a 20-day stay on the suspension.

Coppola still had to turn his license over to the court.

A non-restricted license was issued to Coppola, which will be good for 20 days. Coppola must enroll in an impaired driver course to become eligible for a conditional license, but that must be done within the 20-day period to avoid facing a full suspension of his license, according to his attorney Andrew Safranko.

Once he completes the impaired driver course, he would be eligible to get his license full restored.

Whether Coppola will remain on desk duty is “probably depending on the outcome of the investigation,” Dearing said.

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