Investigators have recommended suspension without pay for a U.S. Capitol Police officer on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s security team who left his service pistol in a bathroom stall on the Capitol grounds, according to a report obtained by political website Roll Call on Thursday.
The officer left his Glock and magazine in the toilet seat cover dispenser in the men’s room of the Capitol Visitor Center on Jan. 29, only to have it later found and a call put out over the agency’s radio system. In the report Roll Call obtained from the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which investigates the conduct of the Capitol’s officers, it was recommended the Capitol Police Board suspend the officer involved for six days without pay.
“The Department takes very seriously all breaches of Department rules and has established policies that address such matters,” said Lt. Kimberly Schneider, a Capitol Police spokeswoman, in an email to Roll Call. “Each disciplinary matter is thoroughly investigated and reviewed, employees are held accountable for their conduct, and they are provided due process in adjudicating these matters. Depending on the nature and seriousness of the violation, an employee’s record, and other required considerations, an appropriate penalty is applied, up to and including termination of employment. As a matter of policy, the Department does not routinely discuss internal personnel matters, in order to maintain the integrity of the Department.”
The incident is one of three reported in which Capitol Police officers have accidentally left their weapons behind, one of which was found in the bathroom of House Speaker John Boehner’s suite by a 7- or 8-year-old child on March 24, Roll Call reported. The officer who left this service pistol behind was part of the Republican representative’s security detail.
A third unsecured Glock was found by a janitor who was cleaning the Capitol Police headquarters building the night of April 16, Roll Call reported. It is unclear how many similar but unreported incidents have occurred since Capitol Police Department regulations don’t require lost firearms to be reported.