Orlando Officer reinstated after theft at Universal Studios

(Sadie Gurman)    A city police officer charged last year with stealing more than $300 worth of Harry Potter merchandise from Universal Studios Florida returned to the force Friday, after completing a diversion program for first-time offenders.

As part of an arbitration panel’s 2-1 vote to reinstate him, Officer Henry A. Rogowski, 50, will not receive back-pay and will be monitored through the city’s Track 3 program for rehabilitation, police union attorney Bryan Campbell confirmed. Assigned to the warrant office, Officer Rogowski risks termination if he receives discipline within a two-year probation period.

Orlando police charged him with theft in August after he was seen putting photo albums, bookmarks and key chains into a bag and leaving without paying. Orange County, Fla. court records show that prosecutors discontinued their case in January. They did so because Officer Rogowski was placed in a program for first-time offenders, similar to Allegheny County’s accelerated rehabilitative disposition, which can lead to charges being expunged from his record, city solicitor Dan Regan said.

He said the city’s Law Department is reviewing the panel’s decision to return him to work.

Deputy police Chief Paul Donaldson, who voted to uphold the firing, said he could not comment on the specifics of the decision. Police union President Dan O’Hara said he hadn’t read the decision and declined to comment.


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