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A Home for Wayward Cops

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Two of my posts have garnered a lot of attention.  Between Friday’s With “Fired” Frank and Was Frank Sloup Fired?, they have had approximately 70k views.  One of the big, and valid, critiques of both was my conjecture.  This is especially true regarding his departure from MSCO, which I admitted I only had knowledge from what I read in the media. 

By chance I had the opportunity to talk with someone who worked for MCSO, was in their Internal Affairs chain-of-command, and was there during the Frank Sloup investigation.  This is what I learned from my 20-minute discussion. 

Frank Sloup was the supervisor working a DUI Task Force.  Towards the end of the Task Force, Sloup pulled over and arrested a driver for DUI.  By the time the person was processed and released, it was around 3am.  Since Sloup had to work the next day, he decided to complete his report the following day. 

So, the following day, he completed his report and submitted it to another supervisor to have him sign off on it.  That supervisor did and it was ultimately submitted to their Records Department.  When it arrived there, someone noticed the completion date on the report appeared to have been altered and did not match other date records associated with the document.

When it was brought to the attention of Sloup and the other supervisor that signed off on it, it started a he said, he said as to how the completion date on the document got changed after it had been submitted.

A little background that I was unaware of helps explain some of what, and why, things happened next.  MCSO was under a Federal/DOJ investigation and was being monitored based on claims of racial profiling while Joe Arpaio was the Sheriff.  One of the mandates from the DOJ was that all arrest reports had to be completed, signed off on and submitted within 72 hours of the arrest.  To ensure compliance, MCSO wrote a policy that mirrored the mandate, requiring their deputies to have their reports written and submitted to their supervisor before ending their shift.  There were exceptions to that rule, in situations like Sloup’s, where he already worked past his scheduled shift.  Completing the report the following day was perfectly acceptable, as long as it was ultimately submitted within 72-hours.    

This led to the IA investigation, which alleged that Sloup altered the document himself after it was sign off on and then was untruthful about doing so when interviewed. 

Here’s the kicker, the date on the document didn’t need to be altered.  The report was completed within the 72-hour policy/mandate.  When Sloup was asked about that issue, he seemed unaware of the 72-hour policy and was under the belief that he was out of policy for not completing it sooner.  Let me remind you that he was a supervisor, responsible for holding other deputies to the government mandate, that he appeared unaware of. 

As Internal Affairs was completing the investigation, Sloup took vacation for an “extended leave”.  Before his leave ended, Sloup submitted his letter of resignation, ending his employment with MCSO. 

It would not have mattered, as MCSO Internal Affairs had sustained the allegations and were in the process of terminating him.  When I asked if Sloup “resigned” or was “terminated”, I was told, “he resigned in lieu of termination”.

I then learned some more facts about the MCSO-Pinal County Sheriff’s Office history.  Soon after Sloup left MCSO and was hired by PCSO, two additional deputies left the MSCO due to similar circumstances.  Both were almost immediately hired by PCSO.  When I asked what they had done, I was given no details other than, “not stupid stuff like Frank, much more serious stuff that would make you not want to have them working as cops”. 

This led into a discussion about the PCSO-Salt River Police connection and the number of SRPD officers that left there under dubious circumstances and were hired by PCSO.  After all, the elected Sheriff, Mark Lamb, used to work for SRPD.

For example, Matthew Hedrick had his AZPOST Certification revoked for 120 days in 2001 after he was found to have tossed a 14-year-old kid into an irrigation ditch for missing school while with SRPD.  He would then move over to PSCO, to work with his buddy, being promoted to the position of Deputy Chief.  During his interview and hiring process at PCSO, it was found that he lied about the 2001 incident.  As a result, AZPOST revoked his certification in late-2018.  So, you now have a guy working as a Deputy Chief with PCSO that is not a certified peace officer in the state of Arizona.  Interesting decision.      

Pinal County Sheriff’s Office appears to be the Home for Wayward Cops.  But I’m not sure that Mark Lamb cares that much.  If he can put his face in front of a camera, be it YouTube or Fox News and garner popularity enough to help his US Senate run, he seems OK with several cops having questionable past work histories working for his organization.

Guess that’s the kind of mindset which helps a Sheriff have as the face of their organization someone like Sloup with his past.    

Side note, it’s amazing how many people from law enforcement, with questionable work histories, attempt to go into politics.  Right, Steve?!

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