Thursday, January 08, 2009

Former Joplin police chief caught up in sex scandal

Former Joplin Police Chief Kevin Lindsey, now police chief in Fort Smith, Ark, is once again embroiled in controversy for the punishment, or lack of punishment, he gave two officers involved in sexual misconduct:

But an internal investigation shows other activities on duty were not so outstanding. Bird was found to have engaged in sexual misconduct with a former female sheriff's deputy while on duty once nearly two years ago. He was suspended for three days. A waiver of liability for a police ride-along lists 38-year-old LeaAnn Ruiz as his passenger.

Fellow officer Steven Hutchinson is also accused of sexual misconduct with her.

It occurred once and also while he was on duty. Hutchinson was also found to have committed sex acts with a Fort Smith police dispatcher. He was on duty; she was not.

One incident allegedly occurred in a patrol car behind a closed business during daylight hours. Because of numerous violations, Hutchinson received a 12 day suspension.

Chief Lindsey defended the decision not to fire the officers.

"Part of this chain of command review involves a review of what the punishment should be," he said. "In the big picture of things these are definitely moral violations. They're definitely not condoned by the department."

Lindsey says the department has a substantial investment in these officers.

"In my opinion as chief you have to look at employees and see if their salvageable."

Obviously, community outreach is important to the Fort Smith Police Department.


Anonymous said...

It ain't any of Kevin's business what his officers do on their lunch hour.

Anonymous said...

I live in Fort Smith. Since this Chief has arrived the Fort Smith Police Department has been in the news constantly fcr misbehavior, criminal activity, and various scandals. Our police department used to have a good reputation, but now they suffer a very poor image. Was it like this when he was in Joplin?

And these cops were on duty, in public places, in police cars having sex. They should have been terminated and instead received slaps on the wrist. And when the police here don't follow minor rules or make minor mistakes, they seem to be terminated. It's all backwards. The general public thinks Lindsey simply fires those he does not like and covers up for those he does.

Anonymous said...

I find it so two-faced that a police officer caught having sex in public is given a suspension for a few days but, but if a private citizen was caught by Fort Smith Police doing the same thing, they would be arrested and charged with indecent exposure and lude and lascivious conduct. Just because one is paid to enforce the law does not mean they're above the law.