Sgt. Chris Cohendet, a 31-year-old member of Stanford’s police force, was arrested last week while off duty in San Mateo County for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol. The Stanford Department of Public Safety (DPS) has put him on administrative leave while it conducts an internal investigation into the circumstances of the arrest.
Cohendet was pulled over by Millbrae police and arrested at 1:26 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 26, said Millbrae Police Officer Jennifer McCarthy. He was taken to a county “sobering facility” before being released later that day, according to Irene Brunow, Millbrae police records manager. The police would not divulge Cohendet’s blood-alcohol content or the car he was driving.
Conhendet joined Stanford’s police force “eight to nine years ago,” said Lt. Rich Cinfio of DPS. Cinfio said he isn’t aware of any Stanford police officer, past or present, who has been arrested. “There has certainly been nothing in recent years,” he said.
DPS is conducting an administrative investigation, separate from the criminal investigation, into Cohendet’s arrest. Police Chief Laura Wilson will review the investigation’s outcome and decide a course of action, Cinfio said.
“We are conducting a fair, impartial and objective review of the circumstances, which has not reached a conclusion yet,” he said. “We want to be thorough.”
Cinfio would not say whether Cohendet’s administrative leave is paid or unpaid, calling it a personnel matter.
Stanford’s police chief reports to the University’s general counsel, Debra Zumwalt J.D. ‘79, who said Wednesday Cohendet’s case is “an ongoing personnel matter.” Jeff Wachtel ‘79, senior assistant to Stanford President John Hennessy, was unaware of the arrest and said it was unlikely Hennessy would know about it.
A spokeswoman for the San Mateo County district attorney’s office on Wednesday said Cohendet is awaiting arraignment.