Cops Fight to Maintain Good Reputations as Florence Officials Try to Discredit Them
Walt Hunter and Jarris Varnrobinson, two officers fired by the Florence Police Department, continue to fight to clear their reputations.
Walt Hunter and Jarris Varnrobinson
Their latest battle involves an attempt to keep their names off what's known as the "Brady List."
The list isn't a good place for cops' names to wind up -- it's a way the courts keep track of law enforcement officers who have credibility issues as potential witnesses in criminal cases.
Florence Police Department efforts to have the pair put on the Brady List come even after a hearing officer ordered the Town of Florence to reinstate Hunter. The hearing officer determined that the allegations leveled against Hunter by town officials didn't have merit or rise to level of firing offenses.
After Florence rehired Hunter, town officials demoted him at first, docked his pay, and stripped him of his badge and gun. He's since been restored to a position as a patrol officer.
New Times filed a request with the Pinal County Attorney's Office for the list of allegations submitted by Florence against the pair of police officers.
In a letter dated January 16, John R. Stevens, a law enforcement liaison for the office, informed Hunter that the county attorney received from the Florence Police Department a "professional standards report" for review. The letter also stated that "because findings have already been made by your agency, the Pinal County Attorney's Office will not reinvestigate the facts."
Hunter and Varnrobinson, who now works for the Kearney Police Department, tried unsuccessfully for a couple of weeks to contact Stevens.
Another letter from Stevens arrived February 4, telling Hunter that the information from the FPD had been reviewed and that a committee had determined his name "shall be included" among officers with integrity issues.
In that letter, Stevens gave the officers 20 days to file a request to be heard by the committee to prove they don't belong on the list.
Hunter and Varnrobinson met Stevens in person at the Pinal County Attorney's Office. They handed him the information, evidence, and testimony from legal proceedings that took place when they appealed their terminations.
It's likely that the allegations against Hunter and Varnrobinson are the same ones that were used to initially to fire them from the FPD. And that would be troublesome because, as we previously mentioned, these accusations largely were tossed out by a hearing officer as not having merit.
Even though Hunter and Varnrobinson faced virtually identical allegations when they were fired in December 2012, the hearing officer upheld Varnrobinson's termination.