After short-circuiting his own career, Charlie Sheen helped to get a D.C. cop demoted.
Chief Cathy Lanier announced on Tuesday that she was demoting the officer who oversaw special operations with D.C. police, the unit that gave the actor a high-speed escort from Dulles Airport in April.
Commander Hilton Burton was relieved of his command position with special operations and transferred to the medical division.
“It stings because I have dedicated 21 years of my life to this agency, to this city," Burton told News4's John Schriffen. "I think I’ve done a great job."
Chief Lanier Defends Police Escort Policy
He said he's not bitter about his role but feels he was reassigned out of retaliation. In June, Burton testified before D.C. Council that his special operations division routinely offered police escorts to celebrities. That arm of the MPD came under sharp criticism after escorting the former television star from Dulles airport to a speaking performance in the District. The entertainer tweeted a photo of his vehicle's instrument panel, which indicated a speed of 80 miles per hour.
Burton said that celebrity escorts were standard operating procedure for his unit, and had been offered while Cathy Lanier was in charge of the special operations division as well.
“It has nothing to do with my performance, but everything to do with my testimony before the council,” he said.
On Tuesday, Chief Lanier released the following statement:
"Based on a review of command decisions, including several critical incidents, and a recommendation from Commander Hilton Burton’s supervising Assistant Chief, I took action yesterday to relieve Commander Burton of his command responsibilities and reassign him to other duties."
“All the issues that she said led to my demotion were issues that occurred four or five months ago that have been resolved," Burton said. "There was no investigation. There was no action taken against me. To say that, I don’t believe it.”
Lanier has said she never approved of an escort for Sheen, but testifed that escorts for celebrities were sometimes appropriate when public safety was a concern.