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Eloff, who faces federal charges of using excessive force, was rejected for NFTA police job

The University at Buffalo was not the only one to say no to Robert E. Eloff as a police officer.

So did the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.

A spokesman for the public transit agency confirmed that Eloff, a Buffalo police officer charged with using excessive force, once applied for a job with its police force and was rejected.

“The individual in question was interviewed and was not offered a job,” said C. Douglas Hartmayer, spokesman for the NFTA.

Hartmayer said he did not know when Eloff applied to the NFTA and could not comment on why he was turned down. He said he was limited in what he could say because it’s a personnel matter.

The news that Eloff was rejected by a second law enforcement agency came just a day after the FBI charged the Buffalo police officer with violating the civil rights of two victims in May 2014 at Molly’s Pub in the city’s University Heights section.

The allegation is that Eloff used his position as an off-duty cop working security at Molly’s to assault one bar patron and falsely arrest another.

Filed in federal court, the criminal complaint against Eloff, 40, also includes details of his encounter with William C. Sager Jr., 28, an Air National Guardsman who died after an altercation at the Main Street bar.

The FBI alleges that the off-duty officer put an unconscious Sager in handcuffs after he was carried out of the bar by others. Sager, who was pushed down a flight of stairs May 11 by bar manager Jeffrey J. Basil, suffered a devastating brain injury and died July 31.

Basil, 36, of Amherst, was convicted of second-degree murder and is awaiting sentencing. He could face up to 25 years to life in prison.

The news of Eloff’s interest in joining the NFTA also follows Sunday’s report in The Buffalo News about his reputation for being heavy-handed with students when he worked as a probationary police officer at UB. Several sources familiar with Eloff’s career said he was forced to resign from the UB police once his probationary period was over.

It was not immediately clear whether Eloff applied for the NFTA job before or after he was forced to leave the force at UB.

The News also reported that because Eloff eventually joined the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority police, City of Buffalo police officials did not conduct an extensive background check on him when he was hired.

Defense attorney Herbert L. Greenman said he could not comment about the NFTA job at this time.

Previously, Eloff’s attorneys have suggested that the accusations stemming from his record at UB are “distorted.”

“We don’t wish to comment further in the media,” Aaron F. Glazer, one of Eloff’s lawyers, said at the time. “We would prefer to dispute the allegations in court, if necessary.”

Eloff, who pleaded not guilty to the federal charges Tuesday, is currently on paid suspension from the Buffalo Police Department.

email: pfairbanks@buffnews.com