Dallas Police Association demands chief put officers on administrative leave over off-duty job allegations

The president of the Dallas Police Association has called for Chief David Brown to send two officers home while the department investigates accusations leveled against them by a fellow officer.

Dallas police sergeant denies booting officer from off-duty job for refusal to join association
Sgt. Cletus Judge is under a public integrity unit investigation after Officer Edward Boyd alleged that Judge took away an off-duty extra job working security at a Red Bird-area medical clinic because Boyd wouldn’t join the Black Police Association. Judge is the group’s president. Boyd said Lt. Vince Weddington, a public integrity unit supervisor and BPA member, tried to personally intervene.

DPA President Ron Pinkston’s letter to Chief David Brown requested that Judge and Weddington are put on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.

“The morale of our officers and the public’s trust can be tarnished by the acts of a few,” Pinkston wrote. “To earn the support of Dallas residents, we must maintain transparent policies on how investigations are conducted and make sure all allegations of criminal conduct within the department are thoroughly investigated and consistently handled without bias.”

Neither Weddington nor Judge had been put on administrative leave at any time in the last two weeks, according to a police spokesman.

Brown did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment Wednesday.

Boyd, a DPA member, got a job through Judge at a Fresenius Medical Clinic location. Judge coordinates the job for the clinic. The clinic’s corporate spokesman denied having anything to do with the decision, while a manager said she mostly gives Judge free reign to hire and fire as he sees fit.

Boyd and his partner, who are both black, say Judge told him about two weeks later to join the BPA or lose the job.

Judge, through his attorney, has denied Boyd’s allegations and said they have a witness who will back up his account. He blamed Boyd for not showing up to a scheduled shift, which Boyd denied. Weddington previously told The Dallas Morning News he couldn’t comment because the investigation was ongoing.

Once the criminal investigation is complete, it will be forwarded to internal affairs to determine if there any departmental policies had been violated.

Here is the full text of the letter, which was posted on the DPA’s Facebook page:

With the goal of improving the performance and transparency of the Dallas Police Department (DPD) while promoting the morale of our officers, the Dallas Police Association (DPA) has presented you with a 10-point reform plan that included improvements to the Internal Affairs Department (IAD) and Public Integrity Unit (PIU). The need for comprehensive reforms within DPD is reinforced when you consider the disappointing manner in which a recent complaint was handled internally by the department.

One of our member officers recently brought what appears to be a criminal complaint to PIU. The complaint suggests that Sgt. Cletus Judge tried to extort and discriminate against an African-American DPA member in an attempt to force him into a membership with the Black Police Association (BPA), of which Sgt. Judge serves as the President. Our member claims Sgt. Judge would not assign him to off duty jobs unless he became a dues-paying member of BPA and terminated him from a job which he had already been working.

When this complaint was presented to PIU, Lt. Vince Weddington circumvented investigative processes in place when he reached out to our member and Sgt. Judge to resolve the issue out of the public view, a violation of DPD’s commitment to transparency. We are concerned this occurred because both Sgt. Judge and Lt. Weddington are leading members of BPA and this incident, if investigated, could prove embarrassing to both Sgt. Judge and his association.

DPA has been assured that there is an ongoing investigation in this matter. Because of this active inquiry, I must question why both Sgt. Judge and Lt. Weddington have not been placed on administrative leave during the investigation, which has been DPD protocol for other officers under investigation over the past year.

The morale of our officers and the public’s trust can be tarnished by the acts of a few. To earn the support of Dallas residents, we must maintain transparent policies on how investigations are conducted and make sure all allegations of criminal conduct within the department are thoroughly investigated and consistently handled without bias.

I respectfully look forward to your response on how DPD is going to deal with this matter.

Sincerely,

Ron Pinkston
President
Dallas Police Association

http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/2014/11/dallas-police-association-demands-chief-put-officers-on-administrative-leave-over-off-duty-job-allegations.html/