Metro Corrections officer suspended, moved out of Breathalyzer l - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro Corrections officer suspended, moved out of Breathalyzer lab for giving police officer special treatment

Posted: Updated:
Metro corrections is the largest jail in Kentucky with 1,793 beds. Metro corrections is the largest jail in Kentucky with 1,793 beds.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A Metro Corrections Breathalyzer technician has been suspended for two days and moved out of the jail's BA lab for giving preferential treatment to a law enforcement officer charged with a DUI.

Brett Rehm failed to administer the Breathalyzer test for former Louisville Metro Police Officer Casey Skeens within the statutory two-hour period, allowing 50 minutes to pass from the time Skeens arrived at the jail to when the test was given, according to an internal investigation.

Also, Rehm lent Skeens his cell phone to contact a union representative instead of "the normal process" of providing an inmate payphone, the investigation concluded.

And Rehm failed to watch Skeens continuously for 20 minutes prior to the test, which is required.

Metro Corrections investigators looked at 50 other suspects in which Rehm had given BA tests and found that he took 26 minutes longer to process Skeens than the average time in the other cases.

Suspects have to be given a Breathalyzer test two hours from the time they are arrested. Skeens arrived at the jail with 35 minutes left before the time limit expired. Rehm waited nearly an hour to give Skeens the Breathalyzer test.

The jail began an internal investigation into Rehm after the Jefferson County Attorney's office contacted officials about the case in November.

Skeens was charged with driving drunk on Jan. 4, 2014. Louisville Metro Police say Skeens ran a red light on S. 3rd Street and sped away from pursuing officer, running other lights, according to a police report. Skeens' vehicle was found 30 minutes later in an apartment complex parking lot. Police found Skeens at his apartment, under the influence. His vehicle was damaged.

Skeens has pleaded not guilty to felony fleeing and evading, reckless driving, operating a motor vehicle under the influence and other charges. His case is still pending.

Skeens was a probationary officer with LMPD when he was arrested. He resigned in January 2014.

In November, defense attorneys accused Rehm of lying in court records about whether he smelled alcohol on a suspected drunken driver.

But an LMPD criminal investigation found no wrongdoing. Metro Corrections has been working on an internal investigation into the allegations. Major Endora Davis, a spokesperson for the jail, said she is checking on the status of that investigation. Davis said Rehm is not allowed to work in the Breathalyzer lab for the rest of his career.

Defense attorneys had said Rehm's lie was caught on video, potentially putting dozens of drunken driving cases he has handled in jeopardy.

But Sgt. Mindy Baker, with the Public Integrity Unit, concluded that "evidence proves there are no integrity or credibility issues regarding the conduct of Officer Rehm," according to a Jan. 16 memo obtained by WDRB. "This case is closed."

In November, the Jefferson County Attorney's Office amended two drunken driving cases in which a lapel video was introduced of Rehm appearing to tell a police officer he did not smell alcohol on the breath of a defendant -- but then writing in court records that he had.

After a police officer appeared to tell Rehm last February that the case against Jorge Cejay may be dismissed because of the lack of a blood alcohol test, Rehm wrote on Cejay's blood alcohol report that Cejay "had odor of alcoholic beverage emitting from his breath," according to a body camera video.

But Baker said she reviewed a different surveillance video that shows the entire room – and includes audio - and concluded in her investigation that Rehm made those comments about a prior suspect who had been given a breathalyzer.

Baker said the video "clearly" shows Rehm talking to another officer about a different case and his statement matched the paperwork Rehm wrote in that case.

Copyright 2015 by WDRB News. All rights reserved.
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.