The Arkansas State Police Commission unanimously upheld Wednesday the firing of a special agent who was caught in January having sexual contact in his office with a Faulkner County sheriff's office investigator.
Special Agent Cpl. Jassen Travis of Conway, who was fired in May after an investigation into the incident, appealed his termination to the seven-member commission, asking that he be reinstated.
Travis, 41, and sheriff's office investigator Shannon Cook were talking about a case in Travis' office at the Faulkner County sheriff's office around 9 p.m. Jan. 9, and "one thing led to another," according to Cook's testimony. Cook's supervisor, Sgt. Chad Wooley, testified that he went into the office late that night and caught the two in a sexual act.
Both Cook and Travis testified Wednesday that they had a months-long affair and, except for the incident Jan. 9, had never had sexual contact on duty. Travis' attorney, Robert Newcomb, argued that Travis had exemplary performance reviews and was truthful with the agency during an investigation into the incident.
Cook resigned Jan. 12 after the sheriff's office upheld a complaint of misconduct against her.
After an investigation, Travis, an eight-year veteran of the agency who specialized in Internet crimes against children, was found by the agency's Command Staff Review Board to have broken a rule on truthfulness and a rule prohibiting sexual conduct on duty. According to a termination letter sent to Travis from state police Director Col. Bill Bryant, Bryant also found Travis to have committed conduct unbecoming of a state police officer.
After a four-hour hearing and 20-minute deliberation Wednesday, the commission upheld Bryant's decision.
Travis may now appeal the commission's finding to Pulaski County circuit court, said Jacob Jones, an attorney with the Arkansas attorney general's office.
Metro on 09/10/2015
Print Headline: State police agent's sex-on-job firing upheld