UC officers terminated

UC officers terminated
By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
Three Union City police officers are suspended and will be terminated as the result of an internal investigation.
Patrol officers Ashley Thompson, Randy O’Dell and David Jones were notified Friday they were placed on seven-day suspensions, to be terminated from the Union City Police Department at the end of that period.
In confirming the action this morning, Union City Police Chief Joe Garner emphasized the officers’ terminations are the result of policy violation and not any type of criminal offense. No criminal charges were filed against any of them.
The action completes an internal investigation which was launched in connection with the Dec. 21, 2011, arrest of former Union City police officer Mike Hogg, 42, on charges of filing a false report, insurance fraud and theft. He was taken into custody by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at the local district attorney’s office.
Thompson, O’Dell and Jones had all been released from duty with pay, in accordance with departmental policy, while the police department’s internal investigation was under way in recent weeks. They all worked the same shift.
In addition, Obion County Sheriff’s Department deputy Dave Davis submitted his resignation Dec. 27, 2011, while he was on suspension, according to Obion County Sheriff Jerry Vastbinder.
Hogg, who had been employed with the Union City Police Department since June 2007, was terminated effective Dec. 28, 2011, following a seven-day suspension period that began the day of his arrest.
Hogg is scheduled to appear in Obion County General Sessions Court at 10 a.m. Thursday for a preliminary hearing on the criminal charges filed against him. The charges stem from an investigation of a stolen four-wheeler reported to the Obion County Sheriff’s Department in August 2010.
According to TBI agent Mark Reynolds’ arrest affidavit, Hogg reported to the sheriff’s department Aug. 7, 2010, that a four-wheeler was stolen from his residence at 1309 Lookout Drive near Union City. He then allegedly contacted Farm Bureau Insurance and filed a claim of theft, with the insurance company paying a claim for a stolen four-wheeler.
Reynolds said in his affidavit it was established that the four-wheeler was given to someone by Hogg prior to the stolen report and the insurance claim being filed. The agent alleged Hogg saw the four-wheeler after the report and claim were filed and was aware of the location.
According to the affidavit, Hogg allegedly obtained a warranty claim totaling about $3,000 from Abernathy’s and used the money “to gain a benefit” from the gun shop, L&A Firearms.
Reynolds also stated in the affidavit that agents interviewed Hogg and he allegedly gave a false statement to TBI agents by denying any involvement with the theft, “hindering the investigation” and resulting in the charge of filing a false report.
Published in The Messenger 1.18.12

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