Penthouse strip club: Tampa police officers Antonio Ortega, Paul Madsen fired after drinking on duty
10:52 AM, Jun 3, 2013
11:41 AM, Jun 3, 2013
TAMPA - Two Tampa police officers were fired Friday afternoon for drinking while on duty. According to Police Chief Jane Castor, they were drinking at the Penthouse Club on Westshore Boulevard.
Officer Antonio Ortega, 41, and Master Police Officer Paul Madsen, 45, were terminated for events that took place on November 19, 2012.
Both men went to the gentlemen's club in an undercover car and were not in uniform. Castor said the officers arrived at the club at 1:30 p.m. and were found at 8:30 p.m. after they finally admitted to their supervisors where they were.
Previously, when asked by supervisors where they were the men stated, 'You don't want to know,' Chief Castor said.
Their supervisors, Senior Corporal Joseph Clark and Senior Sergeant Ricardo Ubinas, were also suspended.
Police Chief Jane Castor said the officers attempted to conceal their actions by logging into work remotely and notifying their immediate supervisor. Several hours later, their immediate supervisor discovered their location and activities and notified the affected shift commander.
Castor described the men as 'highly intoxicated.'
"It is very embarrassing to me personally and all the officers, and the citizens deserve better," said Chief Castor.
Both of the fired officers were considered veterans on the force. Officer Ortega worked with the department for 10 years and has had no disciplinary problems in the past, according to the chief. Officer Madsen served on the force for 23 years and according to the Chief 'did not have an unblemished past.'
Castor said Clark and Ubinas have also been suspended for losing track of the officers and not immediately reporting the incident to their bosses.
Managers at the Penthouse Club declined to comment.
ABC Action News tried reaching both terminated officers over the phone and at their homes but could not get comment.