D.C. police commander retires after internal probe, reports used cruiser to come and go from bar

(FreedomBeacon.com)- A commander who served with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., decided to retire recently after a local news story revealed that he used patrol cars as transportation to a local bar.

7News DC reported recently that William FitzGerald, a commander of the Fifth District, was placed on administrative leave until his retirement is official. In the meantime, the police department is conducting an investigation into the situation.

The story from 7News DC showed that, on multiple occasions, FitzGerald used a police patrol car to drive to and from a bar located on U Street in the city.

Responding to the allegations, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Department wrote:

” We recently learned that MPD’s Fifth District Commander William Fitzgerald was the subject of an investigative news story, and were advised of his concerning behavior. Based on the information provided to us, our Internal Affairs Bureau initiated an investigation.

“Commander Fitzgerald has submitted his notice of retirement and has been placed on administrative leave until that date. This matter remains under investigation.”

FitzGerald declined to comment to 7News DC, and the police department wouldn’t share details about the aspects of the now-former commander’s behavior that were being investigated.

The news outlet has described their story as an “undercover investigation.” Over two weeks recently, a team from the media outlet filmed FitzGerald getting dropped off at the Solly’s U St. Tavern five times by either an unmarked SUV or a police patrol car belonging to the MPD.

FitzGerald was unaware that the media outlet was filming him doing this. They also got footage of the police commander drinking inside the tavern, then getting picked up again by various vehicles owned by the MPD and driving him to his apartment, which is about 10 minutes away.

Eventually after filming him a few times, reporters for 7News DC confronted FitzGerald on camera, and he said riding in a patrol car to the bar was appropriate because he used the time on the trip to talk with his officers and check out the surrounding beats.

He did, however, say that using the vehicles to drive him home from the bar was “wrong.” He said:

“At the end of the night, it’s wrong.”

When pressed about how long he was having the patrol cars drop him off at the bar and then drive him home, FitzGerald replied:

“I can’t give you a time frame, but too long.”

The reporter can then be heard on the video saying to FitzGerald:

“We’re worried about you, that you might have an issue with alcohol. We want you to get some help.”

The former commissioner then replied:

“I think it’s best I don’t talk now, but you’re right.”

According to the department’s website, FitzGerald first joined MPD in 1990. He spent 30 years with the department, serving in various patrol positions before transitioning into the investigative division.

He was named the commander of the Fifth District in 2015, making him the top official with the police department responsible for covering much of the city’s Northeast section.