Investigation: LMPD officer accused of rape was passed over by 4 other police departments
Pablo Cano was rejected by several police departments -- but their decisions to turn him down had nothing to do with any claims of sexual misconduct.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville Metro Police Department officer accused in a criminal rape investigation has been rejected for employment by at least six police departments in Florida.
WDRB News obtained a background investigative report centered on LMPD officer Pablo Cano that was completed in June of 2017 by the Miami-Dade Police Department.
The report reveals both Miami-Dade and the Miami Police Department passed on Cano along with Davie, Coral Gables and Aventura Police Departments due entirely or in part to his answers on drug usage.
According to the background report, Miami city police wouldn't hire Cano in 2016 after he said he'd used mushrooms about five times in the 15 years prior to his application.
In 2014, Cano "never mentioned" the mushrooms to the Coral Gables Police Department but said he'd used marijuana between 1996 and 2005.
Earlier this year, both the Davie Police Department and the Aventura Police Department turned down Cano's application after he told both departments he'd only used mushrooms once and marijuana a few times.
Conflicting stories during the background investigation and a traffic record with several citations tanked Cano's chances with Miami-Dade police.
"There is concern in discrepancies found in drug usage and applications with other agencies," Miami-Dade Investigator R.J. Alvarez wrote in Cano's background report. "There are better qualified candidates."
The timeline in the background investigation shows how Cano has consistently tried to leave Louisville. One application was still pending at the time of Alvarez's report, but all six fall between 2014-2017 after Cano moved from Florida and was offered a job by LMPD.
Six women are accusing the LMPD Fourth division patrolman of rape, and their accusations align with the time he was trying to get out of town.
"I couldn't believe it was happening," said one of the alleged victims who spoke exclusively to WDRB News and asked to remain anonymous. "A police officer in uniform was doing that to me."
The drug questions that caused Cano problems with Florida police agencies did not trouble him in Louisville because LMPD does not ask them in the same way.
LMPD does not asks applicants to list all of the police departments they've applied to, nor does it inquire about every drug ever used as Florida did. Instead its questionnaire only asks if an applicant used, possessed, bought or sold marijuana in the past three years or controlled substances or narcotics in the last six.
Drugs were not the only red flag in Cano's history. WDRB News also obtained an LMPD record detailing an incident in September 2015 when he shot a homeowner's pit bull. According to the report, he went to the house on a report of a break-in.
It was later discovered that there was no crime, just a back door with a bad latch, a concerned neighbor and two teens at home who didn't hear him call.
The dog died.
Four months later, Cano failed his final LMPD police training evaluation. Trainer Mark Brown said, "Cano is not ready at this time to go solo," and that he, " had several safety issues."
Despite all of this, WDRB News found nothing in Cano's history about rape or sexual abuse. His attorney maintains his innocence.
Three of the six accusers have filed lawsuits. Attorney Shannon Fauver said LMPD's public integrity investigators conducted interviews with them in the last week.
"If there are any other victims out there now is the time to come forward," Fauver said.
While the criminal investigation plays out, Cano is off the streets and reassigned to desk duty.
LMPD refused to provide the background report that the agency completed on Cano before he was hired. Unlike Florida laws, a spokesman said Kentucky public information statues don't require police to provide that information to the media.
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