The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

May 9, 2013

Police officer wins appeal, discipline reduced

(Continued)

Kobes said he applied the brakes as hard as he could when he saw he was going to hit the truck, then tried swerving right to avoid a collision.

"If my attention weren't divided, [speed] wouldn't have been a problem," Kobes said. "Unfortunately that's the nature of my job is dividing my attention. But I don't think I made excuses. I accept that I was in an accident. It is what it is. ...I'm not going to say I don't deserve discipline. I fully admit my faults that got me to where we are today.

"My only recollection is of actually looking to the left and seeing something ... a big truck. It was too late when I saw the truck."

Commission member John Vandello said he thought Kobes was careless, but was impressed with his sincerity at the hearing, knowing that Kobes has "paid a terrible price for this."

"In the back of my mind, I know this hurts you very, very badly," Vandello said. "I think all of this has sent the right message to you, frankly."

Commission chair James McDonald agreed.

"I'm certain that you're going to learn from it," he said.

Thursday's hearing was briefly delayed to resolve a question about compliance with open meetings requirements.

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