Lawrence police captain on paid leave after incident at 'Dominicanismo' event

·2 min read

Sep. 1—LAWRENCE — Police Capt. Maurice Aguiler has been placed on paid administrative leave after an incident also involving the mayor last week at the "Dominicanismo" event at the Elks Club.

DePena said Aguiler is on "paid administrative leave pending an independent investigation into recent off-duty non-criminal behavior," according to a brief statement released by Nestor Castillo, DePena's communications director. It's unclear who is conducting the investigation.

But Detective Paul MacMillan, a 15-year police union official and current president of the Lawrence patrolmen's union, said the disciplinary action taken against Aguiler is "political in nature" and a "deflection for the administration."

"The captain has had his gun, badge and cruiser taken from him due to an off-duty incident," he said. "He was not acting as a police officer in any capacity."

MacMillan further said there is a separate investigation underway "from an outside state agency looking into potential criminal activity of some members of the department." He said DePena was notified of the allegations but did not place anyone on paid administrative leave.

"So here we are now looking at an official of LPD having his name dragged through the mud over something that has already been deemed off-duty and non-criminal activity by the mayor," he said.

"The mayor should be answering questions about the real matter before him. Capt. Aguiler is a deflection for the administration," MacMillan said.

Capt. Michael Mangan, president of the Lawrence superior officers' union, said Aguiler has a "distinguished record."

"We are aware he was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into alleged off-duty conduct. We ardently defend our members rights to have a full and impartial investigation grounded in due process," Mangan said in a statement.

Aguiler declined comment for this story.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.