Alexandria officials, who hope to complete a probe today of alleged misconduct within the Police Department, are considering disciplinary action against Chief Charles T. Strobel and the commander of the department's drug squad, city officials said yesterday.
The probe began two weeks ago with allegations that a former narcotics officer, David B. Goldberg, leaked confidential information to the target of a drug investigation. It has centered on whether senior police officials including Strobel and Lt. Arthur L. Bratcher, Goldberg's commander, ignored the claims against Goldberg for as long as three months.
City Manager Vola Lawson, who is heading the probe, declined to comment yesterday on the probe. But officials familiar with the investigation said Bratcher and Strobel are likely to be affected by its findings, although no final decisions regarding the men had been made.
Lawson, City Attorney Philip G. Sunderland and other city administrators were scheduled to meet last night to discuss possible personnel changes, officials said.
"We intend to move, and we intend to move decisively," said a senior official who asked not to be identified. "But there are options we are considering; nothing definite has been decided."
The investigation is the latest in a series of events that have cast a shadow over the Alexandria Police Department for three years.
Strobel, who has announced that he will retire in December, was the target of two criminal investigations stemming from allegations that he blocked a probe of drug use by prominent Alexandrians. He was exonerated, but city officials say the allegations damaged his ability to run the department.
A replacement for Strobel is being sought, but officials said that only 24 people applied for the job. Also, officials have complained privately about the Police Department's minority hiring practices, pointing out that its narcotics and tactical squads have no active black investigators.
The current investigation of Stobel and Bratcher was touched off when allegations regarding Goldberg became public. Deputy Chief John Streeter said Bratcher was told of the allegations in April. But police officials initially said that preliminary inquiries indicated that he did not tell Strobel, which would be a violation of department rules.
Goldberg quit the force Aug. 7 after declining to take a polygraph test. His lawyer has said that Goldberg did nothing wrong.
City officials have said that the investigation has found evidence of management problems in the vice and narcotics squad, which Bratcher commands. Also, they are continuing to investigate the question of when Strobel learned of the allegations against Goldberg and whether he acted properly.