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West Jordan • A former Utah Highway Patrol trooper of the year intentionally violated the agency's policies twice during a 2010 traffic stop, the trooper admitted in court Tuesday.

Lisa Steed, who in 2007 became the first woman to earn the honor after making more than 200 DUI arrests, was reprimanded for leaving her microphone in her vehicle so her superiors would not know she was about to make the driver use a portable breath test before performing a field sobriety test, a violation of UHP policy.

The details of Steed's November 2010 reprimand were made public for the first time Tuesday during a hearing to suppress evidence in a separate DUI case. Earlier this year, 3rd District Judge Mark Kouris ruled that a defense attorney for Theron Alexander, 54, who faces felony drug counts and a misdemeanor DUI charge, could use parts of the controversial trooper's personnel file in the case.

Defense attorneys have criticized Steed for using unlawful tactics in DUI stops, and Alexander's attorney, Joseph Jardine, says Steed's reprimand further puts her credibility in question.

On the witness stand Tuesday, Steed said she was forthcoming with superiors about her violations after the driver in the March 2010 stop filed a complaint.

"I don't know why I did it," said Steed, who admitted to intentionally leaving the microphone in the car so her lieutenant would not find out about the violation. "It's one of the stupidest things I've done."

Reports by UHP officials and the Salt Lake District Attorney's Office, however, suggest Steed only admitted to intentionally violating policy after she had been reprimanded. The court hearing was continued until next month so Jardine can subpoena Steed's superiors.

Steed said she stopped Alexander on Jan. 2, 2010, near 5900 South and 700 West because his license plate light was out. Alexander testified Tuesday that he checked his light just 10 minutes before the arrest, something he says he does each night before he leaves work. He also admitted to using heroin that day.

Kouris has already ruled against Alexander's motion to suppress, saying the video of the arrest was not clear, so he had to side with Steed. But Jardine believes Steed's credibility is suspect and hopes to sway the judge with new evidence.

Jardine said Kouris has limited how much of Steed's file he is allowed to bring up in court. "There's other evidence I'm not allowed to discuss," he said.

UHP has issued Steed one other reprimand, but the details of the violation have not been disclosed.

Steed's file could be used in other DUI cases. Blake Nakamura, chief deputy with the Salt Lake County Attorney's Office, said his office has supplied the same information regarding Steed to attorneys in other cases.