INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 02, 2012, 05:57 PM

Fargo detective posts a photo of seized cash on Facebook and is suspended, again

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- A Fargo police officer, with a long list of misconduct complaints, has been suspended, yet again, by the police department.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- A Fargo police officer, with a long list of misconduct complaints, has been suspended, yet again, by the police department.

Detective Bret Witte posted a photo of sensitive police material on Facebook.

Bret Witte is a narcotics investigator and has been with the police department for more than 12 years. We've pulled his personnel file, dated back to before he even accepted the position.

By the looks of it, his history of poor decision making keeps growing with his experience, now threatening the future security of his job.

The newest complaint against detective Bret Witte came after he violated department policies online. Witte posted this picture of cash seized during a drug investigation to Facebook. Private police evidence, for all of his friends to see.

Keith Ternes/Fargo Police Chief: "We have to be capable of policing ourselves, in terms of holding ourselves accountable."

Witte had just gone through internet policy training a month prior. So the police department decided to suspend him for two days, without pay.

Ternes: "I would hate to simply have a knee jerk reaction and overreact to a situation like this and terminate an officer's employment from the department and completely overlook and ignore a lot of the good work that's been accomplished. "

Ternes says Witte has received recognition or citations for his good work at least six times. But his reputation for mistakes is cause for concern. In April of last year, he was punished for leaving his squad car unlocked, resulting in dangerous equipment being stolen. December of 2010 brought another- after conducting a drug buy without backup. And in 2002, Witte had sexual relations in his police car with an 18-year-old woman.

Ternes: "Any future allegation, I should say sustained allegation, of misconduct on his part that is of any real significance or consequence, I think he knows that he's pretty much exhausted any consideration that he might get."

On Facebook, Witte's wife Nikki showed her support. She criticized the newspaper for quote "bringing up the past", calling it "garbage"

And despite the poor picture this "mistake" paints for the department, police hope the people of Fargo will continue to have faith in their service.

Messages to Witte and his wife were not returned. Besides serving his suspension, Witte also had to review all police department policies.

Tags: