A Fort Worth police detective was fired late last month for allegedly swapping difficult cases for easier ones, then trying to cover it up once he was caught, police documents state.
Cpl. Jason Gipson was indefinitely suspended from the department effective June 26, according to disciplinary records obtained by the Star-Telegram through an open records request.
He was the second officer fired by the department in recent months.
In May, the department fired another officer, Deautric Sims, for falsifying time sheets and not turning over seized marijuana, according to Civil Service records.
Both have appealed.
Sims’ attorney, Lance Wyatt, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Gipson’s attorney, Terry Daffron, said she and her client look forward to presenting his side in an appeal hearing.
“We look forward to his appeal and showing a certain pattern of conduct related to cases and case assignments among the detectives working in that unit that was not acknowledged in the investigation,” she said.
Suspicions about Gipson were first brought to a sergeant’s attention in January, according to a disciplinary letter filed with the Civil Service Commission.
On multiple occasions, Gipson was suspected to have reassigned cases that had been assigned to him, to have deleted records showing that a case had been assigned to him, or to have traded cases without the other detective’s knowledge so as to maintain the appearance of an equal caseload.
“During this investigation, it was also discovered that Corporal Gipson assigned some less complex cases to himself so that he could easily close them with minimal effort,” the letter states.
In March, Gipson provided a statement to the sergeant in which he claimed he had worked out a deal with two specific detectives to trade cases “in order to ensure that cases were worked properly and not ignored.” He claimed the detectives had agreed to trade cases with him in exchange for lunch.
“I mistakenly took this as a blanket agreement with these other detectives and therefore failed to verbally negotiate each trade with them prior to assignment,” Gipson wrote in the memo, according to the letter.
But when interviewed in May, those two detectives denied ever making such an agreement with Gipson.
One of those detectives said Gipson had called him months prior, asking if he remembered the time they’d traded cases for lunch. The detective told Gipson he remembered no such thing.
He told investigators he believed Gipson “was trying to get him to help cover up the matter.”
A third detective told supervisors that Gipson had previously asked him to tell anyone who asked that they had traded cases for lunch.
The letter accuses Gipson of lying in his memo and later to internal affairs investigators and of asking another detective to lie for him if called into an interview by investigators.
Sims had been assigned to Metro Opportunity High School when school administrators complained in December to a sergeant of the officer’s general lack of performance and failure to show up at school.
During that meeting, the sergeant had also been told about an incident in which the school’s principal had spotted students smoking marijuana off campus.
The principal took possession of the marijuana and brought the students back to school to be interviewed.
There, three school administrators and another Fort Worth officer witnessed Sims take possession of the clear plastic bag containing a smoked cigarette and green leafy substance believed to be marijuana.
The sergeant, however, could find no report regarding the marijuana or that it had been handed over to the property room as evidence.
When asked about it, Sims denied to the sergeant receiving any cigar with marijuana or a joint. He claimed he had received only an old beat-up cigar with no residue of marijuana and had given it back to school administrators.
When later confronted by internal affairs investigators that three school administrators and another Fort Worth officer said differently, Sims accused school administrators of lying, the letter states.
The investigation also uncovered that Sims had called in sick on five occasions in 2017, but had been paid after indicating he’d worked those days on his time sheet, the letter states.
“When Internal Affairs confronted Officer Sims about falsifying his time sheet, Officer Sims took full responsibility for falsifying his time sheet,” the letter states.
Both Gipson and Sims had been with the department since July 2004.