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A Mission officer placed on indefinite suspension after testing positive for marijuana and hydrocodone said the test gave off a false positive, according to documents released Thursday.
Walter Sigler, 46, received a letter from Interim Police Chief Robert Dominguez, placing him on indefinite suspension Sept. 13.
In the letter, Dominguez states the police department received a call from a man whose house Sigler was staying at on Aug. 19. The man, who knew Sigler from church, said Sigler was staying with him after an incident with his girlfriend.
The homeowner told police he went into the room Sigler was staying in one day to place some of his son’s belongings in a drawer when a cigarette box fell out. Inside was a plastic baggie later determined to be marijuana.
“Being that you are a Mission Police Officer, he held you to a higher standard and he could not believe that you would bring marihuana inside his home,” the letter states.
Sigler was given a drug test Aug. 21 despite protests from his attorney, Bobby Garcia. Lab results show it came back positive for hydrocodone and marijuana. On Sept. 4, the homeowner submitted a note signed by Sigler asking forgiveness and stating the baggie belonged to his son and he planned to ask his son where it came from.
According to the letter, Sigler said in an interview Sept. 10 that he did leave the note to see if it would get back to the chief of police.
And in an interview with Dominguez on Sept. 12, Sigler presented a printout on the causes of false positives in marijuana testing. The letter states Sigler said he was taking hydrocodone, tramadol, meloxicam, ibuprofen and protoxin. That information was relayed to the drug testing laboratory, and verified results still indicated marijuana in the urine sample.
Sigler joined Mission PD in 2008. He is an Army veteran, having served from 1987 to 1995 when he was discharged under honorable conditions, a JKA code, meaning there were discredible incidents civilian or military. In Sigler’s application, he explains that he was separated from his wife who was causing him problems.
“And I received punishment for it because I could not stop her,” Sigler’s application states.
He also states he was disciplined in April 1995 for failure to follow orders because he overrode an order given to one of his soldiers that put the soldier’s life “in danger without reason.”
Sigler has the right to appeal the suspension under civil service law.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.