Surprise police officials have demoted a high-ranking officer to patrol after two investigations into harassment accusations.
Officials said Lt. Craig Scartozzi, who has served as the
department's spokesman and one of its youth outreach volunteers,
"engaged in conduct that was pervasive and unwelcome" against a
subordinate police officer, according to documents The Republic obtained under Arizona's public-records law. The specific incidents leading to the investigation were not provided.
The initial investigation focused on conduct by Scartozzi between
August and October last year and led to a second investigation into
other allegations of harassment.
A departmental disciplinary notice said between February and June of
2010, Scartozzi "used sexually based humor" and simulated sex acts,
including "with a female officer of lower rank, in front of subordinate
officers." The report did not make it clear if the woman was in the room
at the time of the conduct.
The demotion, which included a substantial pay cut, took effect Aug. 29.
Scartozzi was promoted to lieutenant in 2006. He served as a sergeant
in both the patrol and investigations divisions, was on the
department's tactical team and the state gang task force known as
GIITEM, for Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission.
Scartozzi, a former Marine who's been with the department since 1997,
has a long history of volunteerism and is known for his role in the
agency's youth outreach efforts. He was one of a handful of city
volunteers in 2010 who started organizing events for teens, including a
back-to-school mixer, chaperoned parties and a baseball clinic.
He has also volunteered on the department's honor guard, which serves
at officer funerals and special events such as parades and visits from
In 1998, he received a medal of merit from the Surprise Fire
Department for his efforts to save an infant who was accidentally
smothered in bed. The baby died later at a hospital.
Department spokesman, Sgt. Mark Ortega, said Scartozzi is known for
performing exceptionally as an officer and exceeding the expectations of
Scartozzi declined to comment on the investigation when contacted by The Republic on Friday but was optimistic about the future.
He expressed pride in his accomplishments as an officer and said he planned to put the past behind him and carry on in Surprise.
"I took an oath to protect those citizens that I serve and I'll continue to do that," he said.
Ortega said the department recently completed training officers on
its harassment policy, but the training was not in response to the
Scartozzi was also handed a one-day suspension and letter of
reprimand in 1998 after officials said he falsified another officer's
report by entering a vulgar expression. The investigation determined
that Scartozzi, who was a police officer then, violated standards of
conduct and the department's policy on falsifying reports, documents
say. Scartozzi entered the remark after the report's author left his
desk to respond to an emergency, documents say.
He told investigators he meant the act as a joke and felt badly about
the incident. Another officer was also investigated for allegations he
participated by adding his own inappropriate statements.
The author of the report noticed the additions and deleted most of
them but missed Scartozzi's comment, the investigation showed. The
report was forwarded to the City Attorney's Office where the addition