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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cop Sentenced In K-9's Death

Veteran Officer Pleads No Contest To Misdemeanor
NBC - August 29, 2008

SAN DIEGO -- A veteran San Diego police officer whose K-9 partner died of heat stroke in his patrol car outside of his home, pleaded no contest and was sentenced on Thursday. Hubka was not present in court as his change of plea to one misdemeanor count of leaving a dog in a confined vehicle causing death, was entered by his defense attorney Rick Pinckard. Judge Dwayne K. Moring immediately sentenced Hubka to three years probation and ordered him to pay a fine of $411. Hubka was also ordered to pay the San Diego Police Department $4,941 for Forrest, and to perform 100 hours of community service at a nonprofit organization. The dog, a five-year-old Belgian Malinois named Forrest, was left in Officer Paul Hubka's car for several hours on June 20, in the driveway of his Alpine home. Officials said temperatures that day topped 108 degrees. Investigators determined that Forrest may have been in the vehicle with the windows rolled up for as long as seven hours. Hubka is a 22-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department. San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre filed a lawsuit Friday against Hubka in connection with the case. He's claiming as much as $50,000 in damages from the officer to compensate the city's costs of acquiring, training and maintaining Forrest. That's the very amount, which the city owes Hubka in a legal settlement for pension benefits stemming from previously uncredited bonus pay for taking care of K-9 partners for 18 years. Police Chief William Lansdowne says Hubka will no longer work with canines.

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