The Arkansas State Police suspended a lieutenant last month after a review board found he violated at least eight department policies, including instructing officers not to log overtime, using special agents and inmates for personal chores and misusing police property.
Lt. Brant Tosh, commander of the state police's Troop F criminal investigation division in Jonesboro, was suspended for a week without pay in late December, seven months after a review board said he had shown a "lack of tact and professionalism in his interactions with subordinates" and violated multiple state police policies, according to a 300-page investigative file released Wednesday.
Agents interviewed during the course of the investigation said Tosh nit-picked officers for uniform violations such as not wearing a state police ball cap to the firing range, held grudges and caused tension in the office. At least two agents characterized Tosh's leadership as based on his own self-interest.
"It's not what I can do for you," an agent told an investigator when asked about Tosh's leadership. "It's what y'all can do for me."
The Arkansas State Police Office of Professional Standards received a complaint on Oct. 11, 2017, alleging that Tosh was violating department policy, according to an investigative summary.
While investigating the complaint, agents found that Tosh had used his administrative assistant to do work not associated with police business on company time, drove a state police vehicle to a school boards conference and to his farm multiple times, instructed special agents to work on his boat, used an inmate to repair a lamp and a leaf blower, and told agents not to log any overtime, according to the report.
Although Tosh initially denied any violation, the review board report said his testimony indicated a "clear violation" of state police policies.
Tosh testified that he "does not think that agents should claim compensatory time during the week due to their not attending to ASP duties every second during their eight (8) hour shift," the report said.
This claim violates department policy that all employees should record and be paid for any work or leave time. Not allowing employees to record overtime would also violate the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, a national statute which establishes overtime pay along with labor standards and minimum wage.
Multiple personnel testified that Tosh worked approximately 20 hours per week, though several agents interviewed during the investigation said he had rarely been in the office for the two years he had been assigned to the criminal investigation division.
"... it is the Board's conclusion that in Company F, Lt. Tosh is the only person allowed to take compensatory time without question, even though Lt. Tosh is an exempt employee and is not entitled to claim compensatory time," board members said in their report.
The board found that Tosh ordered multiple on-duty special agents and officers to complete menial jobs for him -- such as repairing his boat and air conditioner, putting a camouflage design on his golf cart, and escorting a family friend's funeral -- without pay.
Tosh also brought in his daughter's lamp and told an inmate to repair it, and "used extremely poor judgment" in asking the same inmate to fix his leaf blower, the report said.
The investigation found that Tosh used a state police vehicle to attend a state conference of school boards on Dec. 7 to Dec. 9 in 2016 and regularly used a criminal investigations division truck to go to his farm.
Tosh, who is School Board president for Valley View Public Schools, according to the district's website, instructed his secretary to enter Valley View Public School employees' birthdays into a calendar and had her manage the district's annual Dana Jones Memorial Scholarship 5k Fun Run, the report said.
Tosh also used state police letterhead to recommend that a student of the Valley View School District be given consideration for an early age waiver to get a driver's license, according to the report.
The board also said Tosh treated his employees unprofessionally and that his leadership style was "detrimental to the effectiveness" of his company.
Agents said two sergeants beneath Tosh were "basically" in charge of Company F, since Tosh was rarely in the office and did not answer phone calls while he was not at work.
Multiple agents told investigators that Tosh disliked facial hair and argyle or printed socks, and that Tosh believed officers who grew facial hair were "being disrespectful to him," according to an agent interview summary. Two officers said Tosh "retaliated against" agents with facial hair by placing them in less preferable positions.
Several officers independently referred to a grudge Tosh held against one special agent who he saw with facial hair at a shooting range, and said Tosh instructed a sergeant to give the agent "satisfactory at best" evaluations, despite the agent previously receiving "exceeding" rankings.
When asked about it, the agent told investigators he wasn't doing anything wrong except for "not kissing [Tosh's] hind end."
Tosh was suspended for seven days and will be ineligible for promotions for the next year, according to a disciplinary agreement both Tosh and state police Col. Bill Bryant signed on Dec. 4. Tosh agreed to waive all rights to any appeal of the suspension, the agreement said.
Tosh's father, Dwight Tosh, is a retired troop commander with the Arkansas State Police who retired after 37 years and a current state representative for District 52.
Metro on 01/10/2019
Print Headline: Arkansas State Police lieutenant suspended for week; board faults lawman’s leadership