Los Banos police official is convicted of DUI

cpride@losbanosenterprise.comMay 13, 2013 

— The Los Banos Police Department's second-highest ranking officer has been convicted of drunken driving, according to a Stanislaus County assistant district attorney.

Carol Shipley said Cmdr. Chester "Chet" Stygar pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of drunken driving in Stanislaus County Superior Court on April 16.

Shipley said Stygar was sentenced to three years' probation, two days in jail and participation in a drunken driving diversion program.

Stygar's attorney, Modesto-based Kirk McAllister, did not return phone calls requesting comment.

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

Stygar has continued to work at the department pending the outcome of the case.

An internal affairs investigation into Stygar's behavior is being conducted. Police Chief Gary Brizzee has declined to state when the inquiry will be completed.

"It's a personnel matter. I cannot speak to the public about this," Brizzee said. "Generally speaking, I would never condone drinking and driving."

Stygar, 42, is the highest-ranking of Los Banos' two police commanders. He 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, administrative sergeant and jail supervisor.

Brizzee said Stygar's legal issues "remain a distraction" to the department.

Los Banos Enterprise staff writer Corey Pride can be reached at (209) 388-6563 or cpride@losbanosenterprise.com.

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