Aiken deputy fired after DUI

  • Follow Metro

AIKEN --- Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt fired a deputy Thursday morning who had been arrested hours earlier in Richmond County on a driving under the influence charge.

Leonard Canalejo's blood alcohol level registered at 0.15, said sheriff's Lt. Michael Frank, a spokesman for the sheriff's office.

The legal blood alcohol limit in Georgia is .08.

Lt. Frank said Mr. Canalejo was off duty, driving his private vehicle on Gordon Highway in Augusta, on his way home from a bar when Richmond County deputies pulled him over.

"Sheriff Hunt released him from employment first thing this morning," Lt. Frank said.

Mr. Canalejo was hired as a deputy in June 2005 in the uniform patrol division.

According to department policy, sheriff's office employees are not allowed to frequent bars in Aiken County.

"We can go out of the county and go to whatever restaurants and other establishments we want to, but we're governed by the same laws as everyone else," Lt. Frank said.

In October, four narcotics officers with the sheriff's department were fired after an investigation that found they had used an unmarked county-owned car to go bar-hopping in North Augusta and Augusta.

Another narcotics officer who had been suspended eventually resigned.

Reach Michelle Guffey at (803) 648-1395, ext. 110, or michelle.guffey@augustachronicle.com

Comments (47) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
keepinitreal
0
Points
keepinitreal 12/07/07 - 07:42 am
0
0
Well regardless of being a

Well regardless of being a person who should be upholding the laws still does not mean that when off duty they should be in the public's eye doing their pleasure's to the point of breaking them. They have a standard to maintain and should enjoy their off time at home if they want to get wiped out. Can't uphold the law's and break em at the same time especially being an officer of the law. Keep setting those good examples guy's so we civilians can do the same.

BR549
2
Points
BR549 12/07/07 - 08:08 am
0
0
And he violated the law, was

And he violated the law, was charged, and then terminated. So, in addition to gettign the "same treatment" as civilians, he lost his job, and most likely his certification. Would you lose your job if you were arrested for DUI? Arrested, not convicted. Law Enforcement employees are human too. He violated the law and was--and will be--punished more harshly then you would be if you violated the same law.

OneHungLo
0
Points
OneHungLo 12/07/07 - 08:10 am
0
0
This was just a matter of

This was just a matter of time. I am friends with several Aiken Co. deputies, and drink regularly with them. THere have been many, many times there have been trips to Augusta and/or Columbia, with the deputies driving back drunk as a coot, and laughing about it the next day.

bubba01
0
Points
bubba01 12/07/07 - 08:23 am
0
0
....................

....................

bubba01
0
Points
bubba01 12/07/07 - 08:24 am
0
0
only in McDuffie county can

only in McDuffie county can you get a dui and still hold your job as a law inforcement officer

Dedicated
0
Points
Dedicated 12/07/07 - 08:31 am
0
0
What if he is acquitted?

What if he is acquitted?

Georgiais1
0
Points
Georgiais1 12/07/07 - 08:40 am
0
0
He wont be acquitted. He

He wont be acquitted. He measured .15. He done.

advisor
0
Points
advisor 12/07/07 - 08:59 am
0
0
Maybe Sheriff Hunt needs to

Maybe Sheriff Hunt needs to evaluate his hiring process.

a crazy old man
30
Points
a crazy old man 12/07/07 - 09:08 am
0
0
Not to worry Richmond County

Not to worry Richmond County will hire him now.

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 12/07/07 - 09:13 am
0
0
Most of these officers come

Most of these officers come to Augusta to do their dirt then leave.

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 12/07/07 - 09:19 am
0
0
The come to Augusta and do

The come to Augusta and do their dirt then leave, I'm not even shocked.

AGR354
7
Points
AGR354 12/07/07 - 09:36 am
0
0
you are only Guilty of DUI if

you are only Guilty of DUI if you plead that way or a jury finds you gulity. If you can prove to that jury your alcohol level didn't effect your driving you can be found not gulity. Blood Alcohol levels are only a factor in a conviction.

3 beers will not make you drunk, 2 drinks might not either

GETACLUE
0
Points
GETACLUE 12/07/07 - 09:44 am
0
0
OneHungLO- were you just

OneHungLO- were you just sitting in the back seat reading a bible or were you drunk as a coot too?

SunDown
2
Points
SunDown 12/07/07 - 10:08 am
0
0
I find the "he lost his job"

I find the "he lost his job" and "punished more harshly then you would be if you violated the same law" comments particularly interesting. While true I can't help but point out that this officer knew the stakes before he made the decision to drink and drive. Law enforcement are not the only ones that would lose their job for such an offense. If I got a DUI I would lose my security clearance which would lead to me being fired. I know that, so, I make the decision to never drink and drive. If I have one sip of one drink it is a given that I will not drive the rest of the evening. I am also convinced "MYPOINT" is absolutely correct as far as what we are "allowed to know."

CHATTYCAT
0
Points
CHATTYCAT 12/07/07 - 10:25 am
0
0
just maybe sheriff hunt had

just maybe sheriff hunt had laid down the law when this other crap happened and just maybe this deputy was too stupid to follow the rules-if you can't walk the line,stay at home!!!

Gruvy Legz
0
Points
Gruvy Legz 12/07/07 - 10:49 am
0
0
I have a commerical driver's

I have a commerical driver's license, and the legal limit I can blow is .04 whether in my personal vehicle or a work truck. If I were employed by a commercial company which I drove for I would lose my license, therefore probably resulting in a loss of my job.

jus sayin
0
Points
jus sayin 12/07/07 - 11:28 am
0
0
when serving the public you

when serving the public you are held to a higher standard. I agree he should be fired. Who knows he might respond to your call drunk. Remember he didn't just have a drink he was well over the limit. I will bet this was not the first time. This time he got caught.

Rose
17
Points
Rose 12/07/07 - 11:31 am
0
0
AGR354, 0.8 alcohol level is

AGR354, 0.8 alcohol level is drunk. That is the law. It is not if a person proves they can drive.

AGR354
7
Points
AGR354 12/07/07 - 11:48 am
0
0
Ask a Judge or someone who

Ask a Judge or someone who has served on a DUI Jury, in SC Ga I doubt is different

AGR354
7
Points
AGR354 12/07/07 - 11:52 am
0
0
Rose always remember the Law

Rose always remember the Law doesn't have to make common since. it is never cut and dry. that is why we have lawyers

moneyman1035
0
Points
moneyman1035 12/07/07 - 12:49 pm
0
0
blitzbarski52 I ahve lived in

blitzbarski52 I ahve lived in Aiken County for 31 yrs and Mike Hunt is the best Sheriff Aiken County has had in that time... Crime is down as a hold, Mike is a good guy all around, but he won't and don't put up with anything from his officers.

SunDown
2
Points
SunDown 12/07/07 - 12:55 pm
0
0
I can't help but wonder what

I can't help but wonder what would have happened if this deputy was pulled over in Aiken County versus Richmond County. Do you guys think he would have still be cited with a DUI?

Rose
17
Points
Rose 12/07/07 - 01:10 pm
0
0
I disagree. 0.08 is legally

I disagree. 0.08 is legally drunk. That is the law. You can't get around it. If he took an alcohol test, and it was 0.08 or higher, then he was drunk. That is the law in georgia.

jshep67
0
Points
jshep67 12/07/07 - 01:41 pm
0
0
Just as I suspected.., NO

Just as I suspected.., NO credit to Sherriff hunt for doing the right thing.

psychobetty
0
Points
psychobetty 12/07/07 - 01:50 pm
0
0
How exactly would you prove

How exactly would you prove your drinking did not impair your driving?

mv09mom
0
Points
mv09mom 12/07/07 - 01:57 pm
0
0
It is sad this this happend

It is sad this this happend and he made a bad judgement call. Sheriff Hunt done what was right. Any Police Officer should uphold their oath they are no different than anyone else. He should had gotten someone to drive him home if he was impaired. I am sure that this goes on in all the counties and not just this one. I hope if this officer was this imparied on more occassions he does not have a drinking problem if he does I hope he seeks help. But thank you Sheriff Hunt you are doing a good job!

pablanco
0
Points
pablanco 12/07/07 - 02:30 pm
0
0
Mike Hunt does not play

Mike Hunt does not play around. I salute you.

Toi.Bowie
0
Points
Toi.Bowie 12/07/07 - 02:35 pm
0
0
I live in Aiken County. I am

I live in Aiken County. I am very proud of the way Sheriff MIKE HUNT carries himself and I stand behind him 100% with the way he chooses to meter out punishment to our deputies.

AGR354
7
Points
AGR354 12/07/07 - 03:10 pm
0
0
Rose I read it. It says

Rose I read it. It says “presumed.” Like presumed innocent until proven guilty. .08 means you have had too much to drink. It does not mean drunk because we are dealing with individuals. Body mass can be a factor, etc .15 is not but about 4 beers. Wait and see when ever this goes to court

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs