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Former Glendale asst. chief breaks silence about demotion

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Greg Dominguez Greg Dominguez
GLENDALE, AZ (CBS5) -

Former Glendale assistant police chief Greg Dominguez is breaking his silence about his demotion, suspension and the family crisis at the center of it all.

Dominguez was demoted to commander and given a 40-hour suspension for violating policy. The discipline stems from his off-duty behavior during what he said was a family crisis.

Dominguez said his 17-year-old struggled with addiction to spice for the past year. Dominguez said he and his wife tried everything to get their son help, but nothing took hold.

Dominguez, a 27-year veteran of the Glendale Police Department, said his son's addiction came to a head in January.

"At the time, I didn't know what to do. You know, you'd think an assistant police chief would know what to do. It's your kid. I didn't know what to do," Dominguez said.

Choking back tears, Dominguez recalled a time when he walked into his son's room and thought he was dead. His said his son was on the bed, face-up, with a pipe on his chest. Dominguez said eventually he saw his son's chest rising and falling.

"I was terrified. I just knew that one day I was going to get that phone call. You know, the phone call that I've made, the knock on the door that I've done," Dominguez said.

In February, Dominguez learned his son was buying his spice from Spankey's Smoke Shop in Peoria. At the time, selling spice was still legal.

Dominguez admitted that on two occasions within a two-week span he showed up at Spankey's and threatened to kill the clerk and burn the place down if they didn't stop selling to his son.

"My goal was next time he walked in, they kicked him out. 'Hey, your dad was here. Leave,'" Dominguez said.

The veteran lawman never identified himself as an officer or chief. He was in plain clothes and never showed a badge or gun.

The smoke shop's clerk did not wish to press charges. But the owner of the store called Peoria police to note the incidents. A formal report was not taken. Peoria police said no crime was committed.

The shop owner also lodged a complaint with Glendale police when he learned Dominguez was a cop.

An internal investigation determined Dominguez violated department policy. Interim Chief Debora Black demoted Dominguez from assistant chief to commander and gave him a 40-hour suspension.

"Did my actions reflect negatively on the department? Yeah, it did. So do I deserve something? Yeah, I think I do. But I don't know what," Dominguez said. "I'm appealing that decision."

A personnel board will hear the case and determine if the discipline was fair and warranted.

Dominguez would love to be reinstated as an assistant chief. He said he harbors no ill will toward the department. In fact, he points out that he had the opportunity to retire when all this came up. Had he done that none of this would have been made public, but Dominguez said he loves his job, and the men and women of the Glendale Police Department.

"I'm not ready to leave yet," Dominguez said.

Since this incident, Dominguez has been able to find a program that his son is sticking with. As of today, his son is 90-days drug free.

"There's no reason for me to be angry or bitter. I've got him back and that's all I care about," Dominguez said.

CBS 5 News asked for an interview with Black, but were told she would not speak because the appeals process is still underway.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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  • UPDATE

    Glendale PD official suspended, demoted

    Glendale PD official suspended, demoted

    Thursday, May 2 2013 10:23 PM EDT2013-05-03 02:23:11 GMT
    Former Glendale Assistant Chief Greg Dominguez Former Glendale Assistant Chief Greg Dominguez
    A spokesperson for former Glendale Assistant Chief Greg Dominguez says he will have to sit home for two weeks without pay. Dominguez has been suspended and demoted to commander. He is accused of threateningMore >>
    Former Glendale Assistant Police Chief Greg Dominguez is accused of threatening to burn down "Spanky's Smoke Shop" at 88th Avenue and Bell Road for allegedly selling spice to his 17-year old son.More >>
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