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AFFIDA VlT IN SUP._PORTOF ARREST WARRANT Before me the undersigned notary public personally came and appeared Ernest Green. .Cti.miIW_.ltty~$tigatQlfC!J:Jlt.~~iIlWl-Qfli~9fmsp~c:t()rQ~~~(QJQ)._\Vll9_~~1:l~illSAlllY swom did depose and say that:
On or about May 19,2011. the orG initiated an investigation into a credible complaint of
alleged public corruption which involved a local mayor and chief of police. The complainant was identified as Officer Ryan Weaver of the Springfield Police Department. In his complaint, Officer Weaver told 010 Investigators that Mayor Charles Martin and Chief James Jones conspired to conceal state evidence and obstruct the prosecution of an individual arrested for driving while intoxicated. According to Officer Weaver, on or aboutApri110, 2011, at approximately 11:15pm, while perfonning patrol duties within the town limits of Springfield, La, he conducted a traffic stop of a motorist who was traveling South in the Northbound lane of La Hwy 22. The motorist was later identified as Tyra Jones of 44038 S. Range, Hammond} La. Officer Weaver states that the traffic stop concluded with the arrest of Ms. Jones for driving while intoxicated (DWI). Officer Weaver subsequently
transported Ms. Jones
to the Springfield Police Department
which is located inside of Springfield Town Hall at 27378 Hwy 42, Springfield, La 70462. Officer Weaver further stated that. upon arrival. he began to administer an alcohol breathalyzer test to Ms. Jones for the purpose of determining the level of alcohol in her blood. The test is standard procedure in DWl investigations and is used to measure blood alcohol levels. Officer Weaver later administered 1hebreathalyzer test through use of a state certified machine known as the Intoxilyzer SOOO. esting showed Ms. Jones blood alcohol level to be T .185g%. That amount is more than twice the legal limit of .088% for intoxication. After Officer Weaver had completed the test, Springfield Mayor Charles Martin arrived at tQwnba]lan<lapprQllChedthe Qfficera1J.o\1ttbe IlrreSlqfbob. Joncs,e. Mayor Martin, had
Martin asked the officer ifhe could give aim (Mayor) some "help" in the matter.
Officer Weaver explained that he had placed Ms. Jones under arrest for OWl and testing showed she was extremely intoxicated, Officer Weaver also told the Mayor that the arrest and
test results were documented and, accordingly. the Officer could not simply release Ms. Jones.
Mayor Martin eventually left the building and Officer Weaver completed his investigation and transported Ms. Jones to the Livingston Parish Sherifrs Facility. Ms. Jones was subsequently .......~ ~.~~ ~ ~~ ~ ~~~
b~k;;d~~~h~g~~f"dri\1iDg intoXicatecf(riWij8Iidrecldessoperanonof v,;biie
The next day~on or about April 11.2011. Officer Weaver was called into a meeting with Springfield Police Chief James Jones and Mayor Martin regarding his atTest ofTyra Jones. During the meeting Mayor Martin asked Officer Weaver why he would Dot assist him with the maner. Officer Weaver reiterated his previous position and explained that he could not assist
with the release
of Ms. Jones because she was extremely intoxicated and had been placed under
arrest prior to the Mayor's arrival at town hall. Officer Weaver further explained that he was concerned about the dangers presented to the public and possible legal repercussions he could suffer if be released an intoxicated person.
The Officer also explained that the Intoxilyzer 5000 is audited regularly by state officials
and the machine documents all tests it is used to conduct. Mayor Martin persisted with the request and asked Chief Jones if there was anything that could be done to conceal the DWI arrest report and associated docwnents from the Livingston Parish District Attorney and State Department ofMator Vehicles. Officer Weaver states that Chief Jones infonned the Mayor that
it was possible to conceal the report ifhe (Mayor Martin) would contact Ms. Jones and persuade
her to keep quiet about the incident. Officer Weaver further states that Chief Jones also told the Mayor that, in return for Ms. Jones's silence. the report could be "thro,'m away" and Ms. Jones's driver's license would be returned. Officer Weaver states that Mayor Martin agreed and, as he exited the Chiefs office~ the
Mayor indicated that he would contact Ms. Jones and explain the arrangement. After Mayor
Martin exited the room. Officer Weaver states that be infonned Chief Jones that he was uncomfortable with "making a DWI arrest disappear."
Officer Weaver said that he would package the DWl report and submit it to be processed in accordance with nonnaI Springfield Police protocoL Officer Weaver states that Chief Jones responded by saying that he understood and would "take care of it." Approximately one week later, on or about April 18. 2011. Officer Weaver states that he was approached again by Mayor
"reduce the DWI to a reckless operation citation." -_Fearing retaliation. Officer Weaver states that he told the Mayor that he did not have a problem with anything he (the Mayor) decided to do. Moments later they joined Chief Jones in
his office and discussed the matter further. Officer Weaver states that, during the meeting, Mayor
Martin and Chief Jones instructed Officer Weaver to generate a citation for reckless operation of a motor vehicle and Jist the court loeadon as Springfield Town Hall. Independent investigation of this incident by the DIG confinned that Tyra Jones was booked into the Livingston Parish Correctional Facility on charges of DWl and reckless operation onAprill1, 2011. OIG's review of booking documents and related infonnation
verified the arrest. Our office's examination of records associated with the breathalyzer test given
Jones verified Officer Weaver's statement about the date and time of the test.
On or about June 7. 2011, OIG investigators obtained a recorded audio conversation between Officer Weaver and Chief James Jones regarding the concealment ofTyra Jones DWI
During the conversation Chief Jones informed Officer Weaver that he did not intend to
submit the OWl report for prosecution. The audio tape further discloses that Chief Jones stated that the matter was "done" and that Ms. Jones paid a fine in Mayor's Court for reckless operation pursuant to Officer Weaver's April] gill citation.
The recording alsc documents Chief Jones saying that the original DWl report and
associated documents related to Ms. Jones's arrest would be placed in a "closed" file maintained within the Police Department. The audio also records Chief Jones further saying that. if anyone asked about the file, he would say that he submitted it to the District Attomey's Office and was unaware of wbarhappenedtoitafterhe
~ed itiil; OIftlie teCOtding.ChiefJones
Officer Weaver expressed concern over concealment
of the arrest report. On the
recording, Chief Jones makes an effort to assure Officer Weaver that the plan was legal, saying
that the Mayor had the
to amend misdemeanor
DWI offenses. Further, Chief Jones
town orcUnance that he asserted made the Mayor the "Judge" and, as
such, the Mayor could amend the offense.
On or about June 14.2011, pursuant to an undercover
operation, OIG investigators
contacted the Springfield Town Hall and inquired about the adjudication of driving while intoxicated offenses in Mayer's Court. The Town Clerk infonned investigators that individuals
arrested by Springfield Police for DWi offenses are not prosecuted by Springfield Mayor'S Court. Investigators were instructed to contact the Livingston Parish District Attorney's for questions regarding adjudication Office
ofDWI offenses. The infonnation provided by the Town
Clerk is in accord with state law. as noted below. State law prohibits DWI in La. R.S. 14:98; and state law, specifically La R.S. 13:1894.1(B), expressly prohibits jurisdictional La. R.S. 13:1894.1.(B). authority for Mayors' Courts over DWI offenses.
provides in pertinent part: ''mayors' courts shall have no jurisdiction
whatsoever over violations as provided for by RS. 14:98, nor to the trial of offenses against municipal ordinances relative to prosecutions on charges of driving while intoxicated ... On or about June
22. 2011, OIG and FBI investigators
Chief James Jones and the town clerk about this matter. During Chief Jones' interview. that he was aware of Tyra Jones'
for driving while intoxicated.
Jones admitted that he concealed the report in his office and did not intend to submit it to the Livingston Parish District Attorney for prosecution. He also admitted
that the report
intentionally concealed from the Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicles. Chief Jones explained that in response to a request from Mayor Martin, he had a meeting with the Mayor and Officer Weaver about the arrest. Chief Jones stated that as a result of the meeting. they. agreed that the Mayor would allow Ms. Jones to pay a fine for violation of a
Springfield Town ordinance
which would be listed as "reckless operation".
Chief Jones agreed to
Weaver was instructed to generate a citation for reckless operation which the Chief later issued to Ms. Jones. After Ms. Jones signed for the citation, Chief Jones returned her driver's license.
During his conversation with investigators, Mayor Martin admitted
committed illegal acts related to Ms. Jones arrest. He also admitted that he was aware
prosecution of DWI offenses was not within the jurisdiction of Springfield Mayor's Court. Mayor Martin explained that he received calls from two close friends who requested assistance
...... Jones. Because the request Jo~~.
with Chief Jones about the arrest.
came from two good friends, Mayor Martin said that he spoke
According to Mayor Martin, Chief Jones told him that the DWl paperwork for Ms. Jones had not been sent in yet, and suggested told him "ifit don't
they not send it in. Mayor Martin said that the Chief
sent in, nothing will
done with it". Mayor Martin admitted that he
and Chief Jones agreed that the DWl report and supporting evidence would not be sent in to District Attorney and State Department of Motor Vehicles. Mayor Martin also admitted
agreed and instructed Officer Weaver to generate a reckless operation citation which would be
issued to Ms. Jones. This would allow Ms. Jones to simply pay a fine to the
the matter would be over. Evidence obtained during this tnvestigation revealed that Springfield Mayor Charles
Martin and Police Chief James Jones intentionally misused their authority and positions of public trust. Further, evidence revealed they knowingly engaged in illegal activities which were designed to obstruct state prosecution ofTyra Jones arrest for driving while intoxicated Through
own admissions, they
to the concealment of an arrest report and supporting
evidence related to Tyra Jones' arrest. Additionally. a phony Springfield Police Department citation was filed in Mayor's Court and adjudicated by Mayor Martin who had knowledge of the false document.
Ernest Green, Criminal Investigator Louisiana Office oflnspector General
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