This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
STATE OF LOUISIANA PARISH OF LIVINGSTON
L JUL 1 9 2011 I
AFFIDAVIT IN StmPORT OF ARREST WARRANT Before me the undersigned notary public personally came and appeared Ernest Green,
Criminal Investigator for the Louisiana Office of Inspector General (010), who after being duly
sworn did depose and say that:
or about May 19,2011, the OIG 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 OIG 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 about April 10,2011, at approximately 11:15pm, while performing 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
·.t.Officer states that Weaver
the traffic stop concluded with the arrest of Ms. Jones for driving while intoxicated
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 the breathalyzer test through use of a state certified machine known as the Intoxilyzer 5000. Testing showed Ms. Jones blood alcohol level to be .185g%. That amount is more than twice the legal limit of .08g% for intoxication. After Officer Weaver had completed the test, Springfield Mayor Charles Martin arrived at town hall and approached the Officer about the arrest of Ms. Jones. Mayor Martin had received a telephone call from a close friend who requested help on behalf of Ms. Jones. Mayor Martin asked the officer ifhe could give him (Mayor) some "help" in the matter.
Officer Weaver explained that he had placed Ms. Jones under arrest for DWI 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 Sheriff's Facility. Ms. Jones was subsequently booked on charges of driving while intoxicated (OWl) and reckless The next day, on or about April II, 2011, Officer Weaver was called into a meeting with Springfield Police Chief James Jones and Mayor Martin regarding his arrest ofTyra Jones. During the meeting Mayor Martin asked Officer Weaver why he would not assist him with the matter. 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 documents from the Livingston Parish District Attorney and State Department of Motor Vehicles. Officer Weaver states that Chief Jones informed 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 "thrown away" and Ms. Jones's driver's license would be returned. Officer Weaver states that Mayor Martin agreed and, as he exited the Chief's office, the Mayor indicated that he would contact Ms. Jones and explain the arrangement. After Mayor Martin exited the room, Officer Weaver states that he informed Chief Jones that he was uncomfortable with ''making a DWI arrest disappear."
Officer Weaver said that he would package the DWI report and submit it to be processed in accordance with normal Springfield Police protocol. Officer Weaver states that Chief Jones responded by saying that he understood and would ''take care ofit." Approximately one week
later, on or about April 18, 2011, Officer Weaver states that he was approached again by Mayor Martin. The Mayor asked ifhe would have a problem if the Mayor ''took care of his mend" and "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 list the court location as Springfield Town Hall. Independent investigation of this incident by the OIG confirmed that Tyra Jones was booked into the Livingston Parish Correctional Facility on charges ofDWI and reckless operation on April 11, 2011. OIO's review of booking documents and related information verified the arrest. Our office's examination of records associated with the breathalyzer test given to Ms. Jones verified Officer Weaver's statement about the date and time of the test On or about June 7, 20 II, OIG investigators obtained a recorded audio conversation between Officer Weaver and Chief James Jones regarding the concealment ofTyra Jones DWI arrest During the conversation Chief Jones informed Officer Weaver that he did not intend to submit the DWI 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
t 8th citation.
The recording also documents Chief Jones saying that the original DWI 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 Attorney's Office and was
unaware of what happened to it after he turned it in. On the recording, Chief Jones states: "what are they gonna do? .... how are they gonna dispute that ... they can't say that I didn't tum that
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 authority to amend misdemeanor DWI offenses. Further, Chief Jones referred to a Springfield town ordinance that he asserted made the Mayor the "Judge" and, as such, the Mayor could amend the offense.
or about June 14,2011, pursuant to an undercover operation, O1G investigators
contacted the Springfield Town Hall and inquired about the adjudication of driving while intoxicated offenses in Mayor's Court. The Town Clerk informed 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 Office for questions regarding adjudication 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 RS. 13:1894.l(B), expressly prohibits jurisdictional authority for Mayors' Courts over DWI offenses.
R.S. 13:1894.1.(B), provides in pertinent part: "mayors' courts shall have no jurisdiction
whatsoever over violations as provided for by R.S. 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 interviewed Mayor Charles Martin, Chief James Jones and the town clerk about this matter. During Chief Jones' interview, he acknowledged that he was aware of Tyra Jones' arrest for driving while intoxicated. Chief 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 was 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 conceal the DWI report from the District Attorney and Department of Motor Vehicles. Officer Weaver
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 that he knowingly committed illegal acts related to Ms. Jones arrest. He also admitted that he was aware that the prosecution of OWl 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 for Ms. Jones. Because the request came from two good friends, Mayor Martin said that he spoke with Chief Jones about the arrest. According to Mayor Martin, Chief Jones told him that the OWl paperwork for Ms. Jones had not been sent in yet, and suggested that they not send it in. Mayor Martin said that the Chief told him "if it don't get
in, nothing will get done with it". Mayor Martin admitted that he
and Chief Jones agreed that the OWl report and supporting evidence would not be sent in to the District Attorney and State Department of Motor Vehicles. Mayor Martin also admitted that they 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 Town of Springfield and the matter would be over. Evidence obtained during this investigation 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 of Tyra Jones arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI). Through their own admissions, they agreed 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.
----'~c.::::::+-.L~~.q,t_~-----Ernest Green, Criminal Investigator Louisiana Office ofInspector General dayO~~ 2011.
Sworn to and submitted to me this