Los Banos high-ranking police official set for trial

By Corey Pride / Cpride@losbanosenterprise.comNovember 9, 2012 

One of the Police Department's highest ranking officials is set to go on trial next week.

Cmdr. Chester "Chet" Stygar faces two misdemeanor counts of drunken driving when he appears in Stanislaus County Superior Court on Tuesday.

Stygar was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving on Sept. 23, 2011. California Highway Patrol officers from the Modesto office pulled Stygar over at the intersection of Main Street and Golden State Boulevard in Turlock at 2:23 a.m. Stygar's blood alcohol level was 0.11, according to court documents. The legal limit is 0.08.

Stygar, who has remained on the job since his arrest, is one of two department commanders. Chief Gary Brizzee is the highest ranking officer.

Stygar's trial comes at a time when property thefts are on the rise, according to FBI statistics released earlier this year, and when Brizzee is splitting his time as police chief and interim city manager.

Brizzee did not return repeated phone calls requesting comment. However, in August, he said an internal affairs investigation regarding Stygar's conduct was ongoing and "could" continue until there is a resolution in the criminal case.

Discipline could range from a letter of reprimand to termination.

In August, Brizzee also said the DUI charges have been a distraction for the police force.

"You just deal with it and move forward the best you can," he said at the time.

Stygar, 42, was promoted to commander in 2010. He began working in Los Banos in 1994 and has held numerous positions, including patrol officer, patrol sergeant, investigative sergeant and administrative sergeant and jail supervisor.

Stygar is a native of Modesto. His lawyer Kirk McAllister did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Enterprise staff writer Corey Pride can be reached at 388-6563 or cpride@losbanosenterprise.com.

Enterprise staff writer Corey Pride can be reached at 388-6563 or cpride@losbanosenterprise.com.

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