A Fort Worth officer who avoided criminal prosecution on allegations that he assaulted his wife in Kaufman County has been fired from the department after officials say their own investigation uncovered evidence that the assault did occur.
Officer Petru Stanila’s indefinite suspension went into effect March 8, according to the letter, released this week to the Star-Telegram through an open-records request.
Stanila, who had been with the department since 2012, is the first officer to be terminated by Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald, who took office in October.
Although the Kaufman County District Attorney declined to prosecute the criminal case, facts and evidence collected in the investigation show Officer Stanila did physically assault (his wife)...
Disciplinary letter signed by Chief Joel Fitzgerald
Terry S. Daffron, Stanila’s attorney with the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, said the officer has appealed.
The city redacted the identify of the alleged victim in the assault, but Daffron confirmed that it was Stanila’s wife. She said the couple is getting divorced.
“It is concerning to me that the department was so selective in the facts provided in the charging letter,” Daffron said. “In the appeal hearing, all of the facts of this incident will come to light. Officer Stanila looks forward to his appeal hearing and presenting all of the facts to the hearing examiner. ”
According to the letter, Stanila allegedly struck the woman multiple times with his open hand, causing her pain and her nose to bleed, after a verbal argument between the couple on Sept. 19, 2015.
The wife called and reported the incident to the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department, but Stanila left the home before deputies arrived at the scene.
It is concerning to me that the department was so selective in the facts provided in the charging letter
Terry S. Daffron, the fired officer’s attorney
The case was referred to the Kaufman County district attorney’s office, which declined to prosecute Stanila. A spokesman for the district attorney’s office did not return a message from the Star-Telegram seeking information on why Stanila was not charged.
“Although the Kaufman County district attorney declined to prosecute the criminal case, facts and evidence collected in the investigation show Officer Stanila did physically assault [his wife], causing pain and physical injury, violating the State Law prohibiting such act,” states the letter, signed by Fitzgerald.
Furthermore, Stanila failed to report the incident and that he was a suspect in a criminal investigation to his Fort Worth police supervisor. Instead, it was the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department that reported the alleged assault to Fort Worth police on Oct. 7, the letter states.