Charges have been dropped against an off-duty Elko County sheriff's deputy who was arrested for suspicion of drunken driving after she was stopped by her husband, a fellow deputy.
Assistant City Attorney Thomas Coyle Jr. said Tuesday he decided
against proceeding with the charges against Charlotte Moore because
he couldn't determine whether her husband, Mike Moore, had probable
cause to stop her vehicle on Aug. 11.
Without probable cause to make the stop, all other evidence in the case would be suppressed, Coyle said.
"There were three or four different versions of the grounds for those stops," Coyle told the Elko Daily Free Press.
"It was not established there was reasonable suspicion of criminal activity."
Elko city police made the arrest and filed the charge of driving under the influence against Charlotte Moore, 36, Spring Creek.
Elko County Sheriff Mike Dale Lotspeich said Tuesday his department would review the matter to confirm his deputies followed proper procedures and make sure there was no impression his officers "are above the law."
In a witness statement in the city police report, Mike Moore said he stopped his wife's Pontiac Grand Am and warned her not to drive around if she had been drinking.
He said she told him she "had not been drinking for some time," so he let her leave thinking she would go home, he said in the report.
Mike Moore said he followed her to see where she was going.
He said in his statement she went to a bar and "let a male person out
of the back seat."
Moore said he tried to stop her vehicle at an intersection, but she drove off.
He said he then contacted dispatch and told them a vehicle was failing to stop before making a third traffic stop, at which time city police responded.
Police Chief Mike Smith said Elko police proceeded with the arrest based on the probable cause provided by Mike Moore.
Mike Moore made statements to police that he stopped his wife and she was drunk.
In a report, officer Larry Kidd said after his arrival he saw the Moores arguing and asked Mike Moore to leave.
Mike Moore later returned to the scene and spoke with Kidd.
He told Kidd when he originally saw the vehicle, he did not know who
was driving and thought it may have been stolen.
Kidd said Moore told him, "he gave chase and the vehicle sped away."
Charlotte Moore told police she had been drinking, according to police reports.
She also smelled of alcohol and failed some portions of a field sobriety test, according to reports.
She registered .114 in a portable breathalyzer test, according to reports.
She later recorded .102 and .096 in breath sample tests, reports said.
The legal blood alcohol limit is .08.
A passenger in Charlotte Moore's vehicle, Suzan Grimes, said "deputy Moore and Charlotte had words, and then deputy Moore called the Elko Police Department to assist," according to a report.
Moore later alleged he stopped the vehicle because it made an improper left turn, Coyle said.
Moore's witness statement does not list a probable cause for stopping his wife.
Contacted by the Daily Free Press on Tuesday, Lotspeich said he was not aware the charges has been dismissed.
Lotspeich said the sheriff's office has not initiated an investigation against Mike Moore.
He said "we will evaluate the information received and make sure our officers evaluated proper procedures."
"Under no circumstances do we want the public to believe or have the impression that officers are above the law," Lotspeich said.
"If a deputy or other officers in the county commit a crime, we would hope they are prosecuted to the full extent of the law."
Charlotte Moore is a jail deputy and 11-year veteran of the sheriff's office.
She is currently on leave and the reason has "not as much to do with this as other issues," Lotspeich said.
"It is an internal, personal matter that we don't comment on," Lotspeich said.