Milford officer charged with underaged alcohol distribution

Friday, January 11, 2019

A Milford Police Department officer is currently facing serious misdemeanor charges after allegedly “supplying alcohol to a person under legal age” in early December. A signed criminal complaint and affidavit states that a Dec. 14 investigation by the Iowa State Patrol “produced probable cause showing on Dec. 8, 2018, Richard R. Zalabowski knowingly provided alcoholic beverages to a person under the age of 21 at a party held at the Ritz bar in Arnolds Park.”

The signed affidavit continues, stating “multiple witness statements place Zalabowski at the Ritz bar on Dec. 8, 2018, purchasing and providing multiple alcoholic beverages for Tatum C. Green, age 19. In a voluntary interview, Green admitted that Zalabowski provided this alcohol to her while at the Ritz bar in Arnolds Park. Based on Zalabowski’s previous and ongoing relationship with Green, Zalabowski should have known, or reasonably known that Green was under the age of 21.”

Officials with District 6 of the Iowa State Patrol said they were unable to comment on the matter outside of the affidavit, but noted it was “a personnel investigation” they were asked to investigate.

Zalabowski, 28, of Milford, is a full-time law enforcement officer with the Milford Police Department, joining the organization in June 2016.

Court documents filed on Jan. 4 show Clay County Attorney Kristi Busse recommended as a special prosecutor for the case, at the motion of Dickinson County Attorney Jon Martin.

“I have a relationship with the police officers in the county, and for me to prosecute a case against one of them would not be ethical,” Martin said.

Both Busse and Milford Police Chief Bob Clark were contacted for comment, but were unavailable by press time.

Milford city officials said the matter was “under personnel review” and were unable to comment on the matter at this time.

If convicted, Zalabowski faces a minimum fine of at least $500.

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