FIRST ON 12: Hephzibah police officer fired after second DUI charge

By: Staff
By: Staff
An officer who racked up a second DUI charge in one year has been terminated, Chief of Police Dwayne Flowers said.

(WRDW-TV)

UPDATE: News 12 at 6 o' clock/ Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013

HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WRDW) -- Hephzibah Police Officer Michael Dodaro has been terminated after being charged with a DUI in Oglethorpe County. Hephzibah Chief of Police Wayne Flowers confirms that he was terminated Thursday afternoon for Conduct Unbecoming an Officer, and Improper Vehicle Operations.

New information into the arrest of a Hephzibah police officer charged with DUI. This weekend's DUI charge in Oglethorpe County is Officer Michael Dodaro's second charge since March. He's still waiting trial for the first charge, but we've uncovered new details about that first charge.

For the first time, we're learning from internal reports what witnesses tell investigators happened that night.

Page one of Michael Dodaro's personnel file shows that the narcotics officer resigned in lieu of termination April 1st, after he allegedly crashed this county car while under the influence. Chris Rodich says he witnessed the events that led up to that crash.

"He was acting very erratic. When the bar closed, he wouldn't leave. He was just being really hard headed basically," Rodich says.

Rodich was at the Vegas Showgirls Club on Broad Street March 29th at the same time as Officer Dodaro. That's when reports say Dodaro was served two double shots of Jager, two double Bacardi and Cokes, and a Miller Lite.

Rodich says, "He pulled his badge out at one time and kept saying he's a RCSO narcotics officer, and he was just crazy. He was acting like a fool."

After flashing his badge to a bouncer, reports say Officer Dodaro pulled a handgun from his pocket. That's when the bouncer backed away, and Dodaro went outside.

"I walked outside and heard an altercation going on. Evidently he was trying to go after one of the bouncers at the front door," Rodich says.

Chris says he saw Dodaro take a beer bottle and throw it against the glass door of the club. That's when he decided it was time to call 911.

He says, "While I was on the phone with Richmond County, I saw him return to his car, speed off without lights, Came back around, turn back around onto Broad Street, and just rolled out."

Officers found Dodaro at the old I Hop on Washington Rd. standing next to a Dodge Charger with two flat tires. Reports say a deputy who responded asked Dodaro his name, and he said, "I don't have to tell you s***." The DUI report says he was swaying, his eyes were watery and bloodshot, he was crying, he had disheveled clothing, slow and slurred speech, an odor of alcohol, and had urinated on himself. One deputy states Dodaro urinated two additional times in front of the car while they were writing him up. The case is still waiting trial, but in the mean time, Dodaro managed to get another job as a narcotics investigator with the Hephzibah Police Department.

"It's ridiculous. I mean you have a police report of him flashing a gun, flashing his badge, drunk, driving off drunk, wrecking the car, and then you hire him again? I don't think that's very good judgment on anybody's part," Rodich says.

Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013

HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WRDW) -- An officer who racked up a second DUI charge in one year has been terminated, Chief of Police Dwayne Flowers said.

The Hephzibah Police Department confirms now former Hephzibah police officer Michael Dodaro was terminated Thursday afternoon for conduct unbecoming an officer and improper vehicles operations.

Stay with News 12 as this story develops.


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