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VA Opens Investigation Into Phoenix Official

The Department of Veterans Affairs or VA is opening an investigation into the conduct of a criminal investigator in Phoenix after reports that he pressured another investigator into making false statements. Lt. Robert Mueller became the target of this investigation after an internal police report, filed by investigator Liam Davis, stated that Mueller instructed him to lie about the conduct of a VA patient in connection with an arrest for drugs and drug paraphernalia. The patients was charged with disorderly conduct. However, it was later revealed that a glass pipe that was supposedly in his possession was actually given to VA staff by the patient’s mother, who found it in her home and was not sure what to do with it. Davis stated that, contrary to reports, the patient was not threatening or uncooperative with arresting officers. Mueller is currently under investigation for an unlawful search of a whistleblower’s office, as well. He is accused of seizing government and personal property unlawfully in the search of Chief Financial Officer Tonja Laney’s office.

Unlawful Detention and Arrest

The law provides clear guidelines for when police officers are allowed to make an arrest and the methods they must use to do so. Some highlights of these guidelines include:

  • Arrests must be based on probable cause. Police officers are not allowed to detain someone on a whim. They must have a genuine and reasonable cause to arrest or detain a suspect. Arizona law provides very clear instructions on what constitutes probable cause; case law has further clarified this issue. Police officers should be well aware of when they can and cannot detain a suspect based on probable cause.
  • Arrests must be made without undue violence. While everyone recognizes that there are situations in which police officer will have to use force to subdue a dangerous suspect, there are also many cases where undue force is used. In these cases, the legitimacy of the arrest may be questioned and police officers may face civil lawsuits.
  • Arrests must be conducted with due process. Suspects are entitled to a swift resolution to the arrest process, including a bail hearing and the ability to contact an attorney.

If you are arrested for any reason, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Oswalt Law Group in Phoenix. These experienced lawyers are ready to help you fight for your rights and ensure that you are treated with respect and dignity under the law.

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