WATCH: Michigan Sheriff’s Officer Stripped of Badge Has History With Police and Alcohol

PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, Michigan – A former Washtenaw County Sheriff’s lieutenant sentenced Friday, March 3 for drunken driving has a history of run-ins with police related to alcohol consumption.

Brian Filipiak, 47, was sentenced to one year of probation, with a deferred jail sentence, for operating while intoxicated in connection with a drunken-driving arrest on Nov. 13, 2016, in northern Michigan. He initially was charged with misdemeanor operating while intoxicated with a blood-alcohol level of 0.17 or more for the incident, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge in January.

“This trip to deer camp on Nov. 13 of last year has had a significant impact on my client’s life,” his attorney said.

Though Filipiak remains employed in a support role at the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office, he was stripped of his title as a lieutenant and sworn law enforcement officer after an internal investigation into the incident.

Police reports obtained by The Ann Arbor News show the November incident was not Filipiak’s first contact with police involving alcohol use. Reports show there were at least two incidents in 2013.

Filipiak and his Boyne City-based attorney, Timothy Arner, declined to comment on the prior incidents when asked about them following the sentencing Friday.

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton said the department was aware of the past incidents and investigated them and ordered corrective action as appropriate.

The first incident occurred about 12:30 a.m. July 21, 2013, at the United Airlines Baggage Service Office at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

Drunk Driving Arrest of Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Brian Filipiak
Wayne County Airport Authority officials responded to a report that a juvenile girl was hiding in the office, an airport authority police report showed. The report includes two narratives – one written by Officer Thomas Zahina and one by a Lt. Tavtigian, whose first name was not included.

The girl had told a United employee that she was afraid of someone and told police that she was afraid to leave with her father, the report shows.

The portion of the report written by Zahina said the girl, who was crying and visibly shaken, told him she was supposed to get a ride home from the airport from her father, but thought he was acting strange and appeared intoxicated when she met him in the baggage claim area.

Zahina then approached Filipiak.

“It became immediately apparent that B. Filipiak was intoxicated,” Zahina wrote. “There was an odor of intoxicants coming from his breath and his eyes appeared red and glossy. I asked how he got to the airport and he stated that he drove.”

After advising Filipiak to arrange for he and his daughter to be picked up, Zahina asked for Filipiak’s identification, Zahina wrote in the report. Filipiak repeatedly refused to hand it over and Zahina explained he faced arrest if he didn’t comply, according to the report.

“B. Filipiak stated, ‘You won’t arrest me,’ and ‘You don’t know who I am, do you?'” the report states.

Brian Filipiak, 47, is still employed by the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office, but “he is no longer a lieutenant, holds no command responsibility, and is no longer a sworn law enforcement officer,” according to an emailed statement from the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office.

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