Oxford cop apologizes, says '$500 fee' comment was 'sarcastic' - FOX 13 News

Oxford cop apologizes, says '$500 fee' comment was 'sarcastic'

Posted: Updated:
Officer Todd Barraco says his comment about a "$500 fee" was "sarcastic" and he apologizes. Officer Todd Barraco says his comment about a "$500 fee" was "sarcastic" and he apologizes.
OXFORD, Mich. (WJBK) -

Oxford Police Officer Todd Barraco is stepping forward with his side of the story after a man accused him of being a cop for hire.

"I'm required to keep my composure, and I didn't do that," said Barraco.

Nathaniel Bennett told us he tried to get the Oxford police officer to help him deal with a domestic issue to avoid a potentially violent situation and was told if he wanted to be helped out, he would have to pay up.

"I charge a $500 fee.  I want $500 cash if I'm going to be your personal service to go over and exchange messages.  Can you drop off $500 cash to my police department please?" Barraco can be heard saying in a recorded phone conversation.

"That sounds like bribery and extortion," Bennett responded.

"Pure frustration moment.  I was dealing with some other cases that were pretty high emotion," Barraco explained.  "I know Mr. Bennett was dealing with a relationship that [had] gone bad, and I made a sarcastic comment to him.  For that I apologize to him."

Barraco claims he didn't mean it, and he wanted to make that clear to Bennett, who agreed to meet with him at the police department.

"Mr. Barraco apologized.  He stated he was under a lot of stress, but he still should not have said what he said," Bennett said afterwards.  "I believe he does need to be held accountable for his actions, but at the same time, he still does need to have some livelihood."

Oxford Police Chief Michael Neymanowski has suspended Barraco without pay until he completes his investigation.

"There [are] rules and general orders that he did violate within my agency.  So at this particular time, I'm taking all the information.  There is going to be certainly some disciplinary actions taking place because what he did was certainly wrong," the chief said.

However, this isn't the first time Barraco has been in trouble with Oxford Police.  He was disciplined for verbal misconduct a couple of years ago and we've learned before that for some misconduct when he was a juvenile probation officer in Lapeer County.  The chief judge said Barraco agreed to resign after he was caught bugging his boss' office.

"No I was not.  That's incorrect," said Barraco.  "He's wrong, and I left to go into another career."

Barraco later admitted to us off camera he recorded his job evaluation, and he decided it was in his best interest to leave.

Barraco is currently a part-time officer with Oxford Police, but his full-time job is principal at Venture High School, an alternative high school in Imlay City where he helps troubled kids turn their lives around.

"I'm an adult, and I tell them that if you make a mistake, come in, we'll talk about it, and that includes me.  I will always do that.  If I make a mistake, own up to it and move on," Barraco said.

Neymanowski said he did consult the prosecutor's office on this, but was told it didn't qualify as bribery or extortion and should be handled internally.

The chief said he should have his investigation wrapped up by next week.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Ford at the Beijing Auto Show

    Ford at the Beijing Auto Show

    Monday, April 21 2014 3:24 AM EDT2014-04-21 07:24:34 GMT
    Ford Motor Co. on Sunday unveiled a new Escort sedan designed in China for global sale at a Beijing auto show that highlighted the growing influence of Chinese tastes on the industry. Automakers are looking to China's biggest auto show this year to help boost sales in this huge but cooling market. Total sales last year reached 17.9 million vehicles, but growth is expected to slow from 15.7 percent to as low as 8 percent, even as newcomers including Lincoln and Tesla enter the market.
    Ford Motor Co. on Sunday unveiled a new Escort sedan designed in China for global sale at a Beijing auto show that highlighted the growing influence of Chinese tastes on the industry. Automakers are looking to China's biggest auto show this year to help boost sales in this huge but cooling market. Total sales last year reached 17.9 million vehicles, but growth is expected to slow from 15.7 percent to as low as 8 percent, even as newcomers including Lincoln and Tesla enter the market.
  • GM at the Beijing Auto Show

    GM at the Beijing Auto Show

    Monday, April 21 2014 3:24 AM EDT2014-04-21 07:24:01 GMT
    The president of General Motors said Sunday that the company and local partners are boosting production capacity for GM-brand vehicles in China to 5 million. Speaking at the Beijing auto show, Dan Ammann said the company also expects sales of its Cadillac luxury cars to double to 100,000 next year. General Motors Co. and its Chinese partners are in the midst of what the company has said is a $12 billion investment program through 2017.
    The president of General Motors said Sunday that the company and local partners are boosting production capacity for GM-brand vehicles in China to 5 million. Speaking at the Beijing auto show, Dan Ammann said the company also expects sales of its Cadillac luxury cars to double to 100,000 next year. General Motors Co. and its Chinese partners are in the midst of what the company has said is a $12 billion investment program through 2017.
  • Clutch Cargo's Returns to Religious Roots

    Clutch Cargo's Returns to Religious Roots

    Monday, April 21 2014 3:11 AM EDT2014-04-21 07:11:55 GMT
    Clutch Cargo's, a southeastern Michigan church building that spent several years as a nightclub, reopened as a house of worship on Easter Sunday.
    Clutch Cargo's, a southeastern Michigan church building that spent several years as a nightclub, reopened as a house of worship on Easter Sunday.
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices