Ex-cop gets probation. Used TPD data to target rival.

2013-09-13T12:30:00Z 2013-09-13T21:33:09Z Ex-cop gets probation. Used TPD data to target rival.By Patrick McNamara Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

A former Tucson police officer was sentenced to three months’ probation on Friday for computer tampering.

Andrea Middleton originally was charged with three counts of computer tampering, a Class 6 felony, for using her access to law enforcement databases to track down and harass a romantic rival. She pleaded guilty to two counts of computer tampering last month.

“I look back on the judgments I made on those days with regret,” Middleton said at Friday’s sentencing in Pima County Superior Court.

She said the event would stand as a “learning tool” for her.

Middleton resigned in June from the Tucson Police Department, where she had worked for seven years, after her indictment.

A subsequent police internal investigation documented how Middleton harassed two women via telephone and text messages over several days in November.

The report said she accessed the women’s private information, such as cellphone numbers and home addresses, then made harassing phone calls and texts.

The substance of the calls and texts focused on the relationship at least one of the women was having with a former boyfriend of Middleton’s.

One of the women told police investigators Middleton had called her numerous times, using profanity and making threatening statements.

The woman has an order of protection against Middleton.

Pima County Superior Court Judge Howard Fell reduced the charges to misdemeanors at the sentencing.

The judge admonished Middleton to not attempt any contact with the woman whose personal information she illegally looked up in the law enforcement databases.

The police investigation into Middleton’s conduct, which TPD released last month, concluded she had violated numerous law enforcement policies and general orders.

On three previous occasions during her career with TPD, Middleton faced suspensions.

In one incident, which resulted in a 40-hour suspension, Middleton did not respond to another officer’s call for assistance because she didn’t want her fellow police officer boyfriend to know she was on a call alone with another male officer.

Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or pmcnamara@azstarnet.com. On Twitter @pm929.

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