A short time later, New Times reporter Paul Rubin was given an out of the ordinarytemporary assignment to Homicide, as a civilian New Times reporter, where he wasallowed to shadow Sergeant Patrick Kotecki and Detective Jack Ballentine and DetectiveAlex Femina in Homicide. New Times reporter Paul Rubin was given free access to 620W. Washington and allowed to go with the C32 squad on all of their Homicide call outs.The fact that a New Times reporter was allowed to wonder the halls of Homicideunescorted, made several detectives in Homicide uncomfortable. When I asked Lt.Benny Pina about the situation he told me to stay out of it and that Chief Frazier already
. Lt. Pina said did not care if it made the other detectives in the unit uncomfortableIn September 2005 I had a conversation with Lt.Pina in his office on the third floor of theHomicide unit. During the conversation he advised me that since Sergeant MikePolombo was coming to the Homicide unit, everything was going to be different now.He advised me that he used to work for Polombo and he owes him. He further stated thatit was important to him what Mike thought and that Mike had challenged him by saying;
“If you have blonde hair and a fake rack, you can have anything you want if you work for Pina”. Pina then said “I don’t want to have any problems with
Polombo.” I told
Pina I didn’t know what the problem was, and that I had no idea why Mike Polombo
would say something like that. I also told Lt. Pina that I thought that was unprofessionaland that he should do something about that.In October 2005, I was in Las Vegas at the homicide conference when I was contacted byDetective Matt Verthein, Detective Sandra Rodriguez and Detective David Barnes. Allthree of them discussed an issue that they had with reporter Paul Rubin walking around inhomicide unescorted. They also brought up the fact that they had seen Paul Rubin on thePACE computer, in Detective Jack Ballentine
s office. Each of them told me that they
were sure that they had seen Paul Rubin on PACE while sitting at Jack’s desk. One of
them told me that they were sure they had seen him print something on the printer, andthen walk out of the unit carrying what looked like a Departmental report. Each of thedetectives I spoke to felt uncomfortable with the fact that he was accessing policedepartment reports.
When I got back into town, I walked into Patrick Kotecki’s office and
told him about the fact that the three detectives told me directly that they had seen PaulRubin on PACE.Sergeant Kotecki and I then met with Lt. Pina and we told him what the allegations were.Sergeant Kotecki immediately wanted to know who the detectives were, and what theyhad said. Sergeant Kotecki started his own investigation into the matter. He startedbringing in the detectives and challenged them on what they really saw. Ultimately, PaulRubin denied that he was on PACE or the fact that he took anything off the printer. LaterJack Ballentine said that he did allow Paul Rubin on to pace so he could proof read hisreports only. However, Lt. Pina later said they did a check on the computer anddiscovered Jack was on vacation at the time and his password was not used while he wasout of town. The matter was dropped and it became a stressful situation because PaulRubin was still allowed to continue to walk around the unit unescorted. Tension began torise and the unit felt more divided. All three detectives felt like Lt. Pina and SergeantKotecki believed Paul Ruben more than them.