For Immediate Release - August 06, 2007

Lawrence Police Patrolman Albert Inostroza Fined $2,000

For Failing to Promptly Report Gun Possession by Daughter of Friend

The Massachusetts State Ethics Commission fined Lawrence police patrolman Albert Inostroza $2,000 for violating the state's conflict of interest law by failing to promptly report that a friend's daughter had a gun.

According to the Disposition Agreement on July 29, 2006, a friend asked Inostroza, who was off duty, to come to his home because the friend and his wife discovered a .22-caliber revolver in the bedroom of their 17-year-old daughter. Inostroza took possession of the gun. The friend asked him to delay reporting the gun until the friend and his wife had a chance to talk further with their daughter. Possession of a firearm without an identification card has penalties of up to two years in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Police officers are required to promptly report all important happenings which come to their attention, whether on or off-duty. On August 7, 2006, hours after the police department's internal affairs division learned about the gun through a confidential informant and began an investigation, Inostroza filed a police report concerning the gun and submitted the gun to the evidence officer.

Section 23(b)(2) of the conflict law, G.L. c. 268A, prohibits a public employee from using or attempting to use his position to secure for himself or others an unwarranted privilege of substantial value not properly available to similarly situated individuals. By failing to promptly report the gun, Inostroza violated § 23(b)(2).

Inostroza was suspended for 10 days by the police department.

"Law enforcement officials may not pick and choose when to file reports, particularly when friends are involved," said spokesperson Carol Carson. "Standard procedures must be followed to ensure fairness and protect public safety."