On Friday afternoon, Dallas Police Chief David Brown announced that he'd terminated four employees -- three cops and an administrative worker -- following that day's series of disciplinary hearings. Three of the firings involved alcohol and were fairly unremarkable:
-Officer Nicole Thomas was arrested for DWI after a hit-and-run accident on Highway 175 in Seagoville.
-Royce Thompson, a civilian who handles police reports, was convicted of DWI in 2009 but neglected to mention this to his boss.
-An extremely drunk Officer Abiud Presbytero went on a wild, profanity-laced, head-smashing rant in the back of a squad car back in March, which, if you're so inclined, you can listen to here.
But each of those cases pales in comparison to that of James Jones an eight-year veteran of the department who, until Friday, was a senior corporal.
Jones' downfall began in March 2011 when a former girlfriend phoned DPD's Public Integrity Unit to let them know that Jones, a certified pilot, was trafficking illegal drugs on rented planes.
The FBI and DPD watched over the next nine months as Jones flew to and from St. Louis no fewer than 15 times. Investigators never found evidence that he was carrying any drugs, but they did learn that he ferrying a convicted felon (identified by The Dallas Morning News as Robert "Big Rob" Russell, who has served time for aggravated sexual assault of a child); that the convicted felon was paying Jones $2,000 per trip; that the two men discussed the price of illegal drugs; and that each visit invariably included a trip to see a man records identify only as a "St. Louis drug kingpin."
The criminal investigation ended in December 2011. According to documents obtained by the Morning News, the FBI suspected their surveillance had been compromised through an unrelated investigation.
Nor is that the full extent of Jones' wrongdoing. DPD says Jones used his badge to obtain a rent-free apartment for his girlfriend, which was in addition to another rent-free apartment he already maintained. He also once used a DPD computer to run a background check on a girlfriend, in violation of department policy.
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And finally, we have the News' revelation Sunday that, not only was Jones piloting a child molester to St. Louis for possible drug deals, not only was he abusing his office to secure perks for himself and his girlfriend, he was also a handicap parking scofflaw.
Internal affairs records from a different investigation also show that Jones had an interesting December 2012 encounter with Mesquite police officers.
Mesquite's officers say Jones parked in a parking spot for the disabled at Town East Mall, and then falsely claimed that a handicap parking placard belonged to him.
"He said this was the placard issued to him numerous times," Mesquite Officer Cheryl Gregg wrote.
After another officer issued Jones a ticket, Gregg said Jones became agitated and responded, "Thanks for the professional courtesy." She and the other officer said he indicated that he had been injured.
Jones challenged this account in a statement to internal affairs investigators. He never claimed the placard was his, he said, but had maintained that it had been issued to a dead relative, which was true. And he wasn't actually claiming to be injured, he said. He was merely offering a hypothetical: If he had been injured in the line of duty, would he have been treated differently?
See? Not so bad.