Second Bradenton Police detective fired for breaking into City Hall

jdeleon@bradenton.comJuly 4, 2014 

BRADENTON -- A second Bradenton police detective has been terminated for breaking into Bradenton City Hall after hours Feb. 7 and leaving the building unlocked for the weekend, according to the Bradenton Police Department.

Robert Cubas' termination was made official June 23 by Bradenton Police Chief Michael Radzilowski. The Internal Affairs investigation concluded the detectives demonstrated conducted unbecoming in its March 7 report.

Cubas and Detective Ross Johnson reportedly "manipulated and defeated" a door lock on City Hall to use the bathroom. City Hall surveillance footage on a USB storage device provided to Radzilowski by Callahan revealed the two detectives in the closed hallway of City Hall.

Johnson's termination was official March 31. Cubas' termination was delayed because he took medical leave after being placed on paid administrative leave.

Cubas continues to fight the BPD decision to fire him.

"He was terminated," said Bradenton Police Deputy

Chief Warren Merriman. "We have to allow his grievance process to go through the steps."

Cubas is in the preliminary grievance process, which could take more than a year to complete.

The weekend break-in was discovered the following Monday morning by City Clerk and Treasurer Carl Callahan who then lodged the complaint with Radziloski.

Cubas admitted their actions were unauthorized during an interview with Internal Affairs Lt. Josh Cramer, according to the IA report.

During the interview, Cubas "alluded to the fact that using the detectives restroom is 'playing roulette' in regard to their undercover identities being compromised."

Cubas also said detectives use the City Hall restroom all the time because it is nicer and more sanitary.

Cubas said "I don't know" several times when told their actions were a security risk, according to the report.

At the end of the interview, Cubas was asked if he had anything more to say. Cubas made reference to being told by Merriman their actions gave the department a black eye.

"Obviously, based on the video and the depiction that it gives, obviously I don't look like a police officer nor does my partner, Detective Ross Johnson," Cubas said. "With flashlights I can understand looking at it from the outside in, that it looks like, it appears to be like a burglary or something where somebody's not supposed to have access."

Cubas said he meant no harm with the break-in and simply intended to use the restroom.

"You know, just didn't think -- didn't think about the severity of it," Cubas said. "I just want to say that I apologize for anything bad that came about this. And, you know, the reputation that it gave us."

Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.

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