A Parlier police sergeant was arrested Thursday morning on suspicion of domestic violence at a Parlier home.
Interim police chief Drew Bessinger said officers arrived at 8:33 a.m. and learned that Thomas Rodriguez, 46, was involved in a dispute with his wife or girlfriend. Bessinger declined to detail who the victim was. The Fresno County Sheriff’s office was called in to handle the case due to the conflict of interest.
Sheriff’s deputies arrested Rodriguez and booked him into Fresno County Jail. He was released around 3 p.m. on $25,000 bond.
Bessinger said that Rodriguez will be on administrative leave until the sheriff’s investigation is concluded. A sheriff’s spokesman did not have details on the arrest.
This is not the first time Rodriguez has been investigated for possible abuse.
Earlier this year, Bessinger said, Rodriguez was placed on leave when the Fresno County Sheriff’s office investigated Rodriguez for allegedly hitting his teenage son in the face. No charges were filed in the case.
When Bessinger took over as chief in July, he reinstated Rodriguez, citing the fact that three of the department’s four sergeants were on leave. His department needed these shift managers in order to function properly, he said.
Bessinger added that Rodriguez and Sgt. Carter Pittman, who was also on leave while being investigated by the Clovis Police Department for possible child abuse, had not been charged with a crime and were physically able to return to duty. So he reinstated them.
Donald Wallace, the third sergeant out when Bessinger took over, remains on long-term injury leave.
On Thursday, Bessinger said he will now rely on trusted, senior patrol officers to fill in as sergeants.
“It makes things difficult,” Bessinger said. “But there is a small group of fairly experienced officers who I am comfortable using as acting supervisors.”