Report reveals reason for firing TPD lieutenant

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A Tucson Police lieutenant and former spokesperson for the department was fired for being untruthful about her college education, according to newly released documents.

Maria Hawke was fired from the force in April, not long after she was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. In years prior, she served as a public information officer for Tucson Police.

A TPD internal affairs report obtained by Tucson News Now summarized the reasons for Hawke's termination. It stated Hawke "knowingly misrepresented details relating to her education level and was intentionally untruthful."

The discrepancy in Hawke's education background came to light during the promotion process in December of 2013, when Hawke was eligible to be promoted to rank of lieutenant. Per policy, all members of the promotional list of sergeants were asked about their formal education.

According to the report, Hawke told TPD human resources that she had earned degrees in sociology, the classics and biochemistry from the University of Arizona, but follow-up requests to see proof of the degrees was never provided by Hawke.

TPD's termination recommendation stated in part, "Lt. Hawke's pattern of deception has created a critical adverse impact on the professional image of the agency. At each higher step of rank, there is a higher expectation placed on the member in regards to both accountability and responsibility, nonetheless always being truthful."

Hawke had filed an appeal against the termination but it was dropped after an agreement with the city and with Hawke to change the termination status to "resignation in lieu of termination," according to the records.

While Hawke can no longer apply for rehire within the police department, she can still apply for employment with other departments in the City of Tucson.

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.