PHOENIX — In a closed-door meeting Wednesday, a former Phoenix police officer stood before a board of five to ask for his job back.
Tim Baiardi, a 17-year veteran of the force, was fired in August after ABC15 revealed surveillance video showing Baiardi slapping a shoplifter in December of 2018.
The video led to an internal investigation and the Maricopa County Attorney's Office charged Baiardi with aggravated assault, a felony, in May.
In July, he signed a deal and pleaded guilty in exchange for a lesser charge: disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation.
Chief Jeri Williams terminated Baiardi in August.
Baiardi also served as a board member for the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA), one of the department's unions.
“As a chief executive of an agency, would I be disappointed that I made a decision to terminate someone from our agency and then I was told by an outside entity that I had to bring them back and that I had to abide by that. Would that bother me? I think yes," said Matt Giordano, President of the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, or AZPOST.
Giordano says it's common for officers to appeal their terminations, just like defendants do in a court of law if they feel the decision made was unjust.
Phoenix's Civil Service Board will hear Baiardi's case, as well as testimony from several people with knowledge of the incident. City spokesperson Julie Watters tells ABC15 the board will then write a report and several weeks later, decide whether or not to reinstate Baiardi.
Giordano says usually, if the board votes to bring an officer back, they're brought back as a sworn officer and returned to a similar assignment.
“Baiardi still holds his certification as a peace officer," according to Giordano. AZPOST is still reviewing information turned over by Phoenix police and the county attorney’s office.
Giordano says AZPOST policy states an officer convicted of a felony would immediately have their certification revoked.
“Although he was arrested for a felony, said Giordano, he pled guilty to a misdemeanor. So that provision does not kick in.“
However, it could still be revoked after a final review and a hearing before the state board. It’s really a case by case basis. I can tell you that crimes of violence especially crimes of domestic violence usually result in revocation," he added.
ABC15 reached out to a police spokesperson for comment on Baiardi’s appeal, who said the department had nothing further to add.
PLEA did not return a request for comment Wednesday.