Inside the files of an officer charged with grand theft
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS 12) —
His job was to protect the public, but West Palm Beach Police Officer Zachary Immler is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the citizens he swore to protect. Now he is charged with Grand Theft.
Use of force investigations popped up nine different times in West Palm Beach Police officer Zachary Immler’s records. Eight of them were cleared, but in one of those investigations he’s accused of beating Attorney Stuart Kaplan’s Client Keenoen Stafenie in 2012.
“Officer Zachary Immler to his own admission said with a closed fist, he basically as a hammer came down and struck him [Stafenie] I think five or six times,” said Kaplan.
A mugshot shows Stafenie’s bruised face, and swollen eyes with detached retinas. The city ended up settling with him for $140,000 of taxpayer money. Immler was suspended for three days.
“This one officer is going to erode the confidence in that community,” said Kaplan.
Kaplan went on to say the vast majority of West Palm Beach officers do a great job, but he worries Immler’s alleged actions will give them a black eye.
Immler is the son of a former Boynton Beach Police Chief and his brother is a Boca Raton Police Officer. Kaplan wonders if those connection helped him land his job as West Palm Beach Police Officer. This week Immler was arrested for Grand Theft, accused of stealing around $6,000 from a home during a drug raid, no doubt another addition to Immler’s personnel file.
“And that’s why I really appeal to the police chiefs and the people that are in power to hold their officers accountable,” said Kaplan.
Immler’s attorney tells CBS 12 the Grand Theft Charge against Immler is false and he plans to enter a not guilty plea. Right now Immler is on paid administrative leave.