I think maybe Officer Kuusisto ought to consider a career change.

Officer in domestic violence incident now accused of drunken driving
By Tom Olsen Today at 12:45 a.m.

Duluth police officer Todd Kuusisto, who was placed on administrative leave after being charged with a domestic violence incident in November, is now accused of drunken driving.

t06.24.09 -- Steve Kuchera -- kucheraFRED0705 -- Duluth Police Officer Todd Kuusisto

t06.24.09 — Steve Kuchera — kucheraFRED0705 — Duluth Police Officer Todd Kuusisto

Kuusisto was charged with four misdemeanors in the Dec. 30 incident, according to a citation filed last week in State District Court in Duluth.

Kuusisto’s vehicle was pulled over near the intersection of 57th Avenue West and Huntington Street after failing to stop at a stop sign shortly after 3 a.m. that morning, according to the Duluth Police Department.

Kuusisto, 37, showed signs of alcohol impairment and registered a 0.10 blood-alcohol concentration, according to the citation. The legal limit for driving in Minnesota is 0.08.

He was issued a citation for driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while impaired and failure to yield the right of way at a stop sign. Kuusisto is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges on Jan. 28.

Duluth police spokesman Ron Tinsley said an administrative disciplinary hearing has been scheduled for this week. Police officials did not have any further comment.

The incident isn’t likely to have an immediate impact on Kuusisto’s position, as he was already on leave stemming from the Nov. 22 domestic violence incident.

In that incident, Kuusisto was arrested after allegedly striking a woman in a moving car in Midway Township. The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office reported that deputies found the woman on the side of the road while responding to a call about an erratic driver near Midway Road and Interstate 35.

The alleged victim later stated that she believed the incident was a misunderstanding, saying she believed Kuusisto had actually hit the mirror, which then struck her in the face. At the time, she reported that Kuusisto was undergoing treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression

A pretrial hearing in that case is scheduled for April 7.

Minneapolis attorney Fred Bruno, who was hired to represent Kuusisto through the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association’s Legal Defense Fund, did not return a call seeking comment Monday.

Under the Minnesota Data Practices Act, any disciplinary action taken against Kuusisto is not public until the case is fully resolved.

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