Records: SAPD officer rehired after DWI crash, arrest

Police Chief William McManus agrees to settlement with Officer Arthur Lopez

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SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio police officer who was fired after a DWI arrest in 2017 is back on the force, according to suspension records obtained by KSAT 12 News.

On Oct. 26, 2017, Officer Arthur Lopez was off duty when he was arrested in downtown San Antonio around 4 a.m. Police said he drove the wrong way and caused a crash at W. Market Street and Navarro Street.

Off-duty SAPD officer charged with DWI

Lopez, who had been with the department for nine years, declined a breathalyzer at the scene and a warrant was issued for a blood draw, records show. The blood analysis revealed Lopez had a blood alcohol content of 0.115. Blood alcohol content above .08 is considered intoxicated.

Following an SAPD Internal Affairs investigation, Lopez was indefinitely suspended on Feb. 27, 2018, according to suspension records.

SAPD officer fired after DWI arrest

Records obtained through an open records request show that SAPD Chief William McManus agreed to reinstate Lopez before the case went to arbitration. McManus reduced the punishment to a 706-day suspension without pay — the same number of calendar days Lopez had been off the force. Effectively, Lopez was reinstated, with a few conditions, and returned to employment on Feb. 3.

Lopez was reinstated because his records were expunged, his attorney Karl Brehm confirmed. Lopez’s arrest report and case file is no longer public. Brehm declined to comment on the specifics of Lopez’s case.

As part of the agreement, Lopez will have to complete any programs deemed necessary by McManus, including counseling. Once successfully complete, Lopez will be under a two-year probationary period, known as the last chance agreement. If he violates the same policies within those two years, he faces indefinite suspension.

About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.