Detroit files charges; new police exec quits
FORT SMITH — A former Detroit police captain hired for a newly created position in the Fort Smith Police Department…
FORT SMITH — A former Detroit police captain hired for a newly created position in the Fort Smith Police Department resigned after a week on the job and has been charged with a felony in Detroit.
Harold Rochon started work Sept. 5 as deputy director of administrative services for the Fort Smith Police Department and resigned Sept. 8, police spokesman Sgt. Daniel Grubbs said Thursday.
The prosecuting attorney’s office in Wayne County, Mich., said Rochon was charged Sept. 8 in Wayne County Circuit Court with misconduct in office, a felony.
Assistant prosecutor and director of communications Maria Miller said Rochon is accused of having two officers work on building a deck at his home while they were on duty. According to the charge, it occurred between July 24, 2015, and Aug. 25, 2015.
Miller said Rochon was arraigned on the charge Tuesday and entered an innocent plea. He was freed on a $3,000 personal bond, which Miller said meant that Rochon did not have to put up any money.
Rochon is scheduled for a probable cause hearing Tuesday and for a preliminary examination Sept. 25 to determine if there is enough evidence to take the case to trial, Miller said.
“Despite a thorough background investigation and a polygraph, which we normally don’t do with civilian employees, this did not come up,” City Administrator Carl Geffken said a statement released Thursday.
Geffken said in the statement that the charge would have been discovered if there had been a complaint, warrant or official action filed against Rochon on or before the date of the background check.
Rochon also was given a Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, which civilian employees other than dispatchers in the department do not take, Geffken said in the statement.
According to Geffken’s statement, Rochon spoke with Fort Smith Chief Nathaniel Clark in the late afternoon of Sept. 8 and said an issue had just surfaced in Detroit. Rochon said it was two years old and could result in charges.
“He resigned after discussing this with Chief Clark,” Geffken’s statement said. “We were not told the specifics as stated in [another media report] other than the issue was two years old and involved a deck.”
The position of deputy director of administrative services was created by city directors at Clark’s request at their May 16 meeting. Clark requested that the person hired for the position be paid a minimum of $65,000 a year.
The position was approved the same night the directors approved another request by Clark to create the rank of lieutenant to replace some captain and sergeant positions.
Clark wrote in a memorandum that he wanted to restructure the department to “better enhance our service delivery.”
The deputy director of administration “will perform highly responsible, professional and administrative work, and report to and consult with the chief of police in determining overall plans and guiding principles,” Clark wrote.
State Desk on 09/15/2017
Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Detroit files charges; new police exec quits