Assistant Police Chief awaits disciplinary hearing over alleged unauthorized release of information to media
By Pam Horne, Editor
Franklin police officials confirmed today that Deputy Chief Mike Jordan, a 34-year veteran of the force, has been placed on leave, pending a disciplinary hearing regarding accusations that he leaked information related to an incident report and subsequent investigation involving resident Ashley Judd.
“On 11/11/2013, a local inquiring media representative contacted the FPD Public Affairs Office citing case specifics that, by statute, were being maintained as confidential,” according to a Franklin Police Department statement released to the Herald today upon request.
“Franklin Police, concerned that information regarding the case had been leaked from an inside source, immediately began investigating. During their internal investigation, police officials identified who they believe to be responsible for the leak later that afternoon,” the statement said.
“On the morning of 11/12/2013, Deputy Chief Mike Jordan was suspended, pending further investigation. His access to police records was immediately revoked.”
This is the second time in a little over three months that the police department has become engaged in an internal investigation into an employee leaking information.
In early August, the department called a press conference to inform the public that information about Police Chief David Rahinsky’s family had been released, following personnel conducting unauthorized computer searches on city property.
The investigation of the matter was ultimately transferred to Metro Police Department, which found that police personnel committed no illegal actions.
No disciplinary actions were taken on the matter.
Today, Jordan is at his Franklin home awaiting notification by city officials as to when he will be given a personnel hearing on the matter.
He is currently over the traffic and operations division. As a division chief, he said he believed he had the authority, according to the police department’s eight-page media policy manual, to issue a “press release” to the media.
However, on Nov. 12, he was placed on suspension and remains unable to work.
Responding to a media request from the Herald, Lt. Charlie Warner, public information officer for the department, said in an e-mail “I’ve confirmed with the Chief [Rahinsky] that an internal investigation is still underway, and that a disciplinary hearing for Deputy Chief Jordan has not been scheduled.”
A police report released to the Herald by Franklin Communications Manager Milissa Reierson has limited information about an incident that began at 121 Seventh Ave. South, the location of Quick Muffler.
The report states that on Nov. 8 at 2:43 p.m., Officer Samuel Greer was dispatched to Quick Muffler in regards to a worker finding a GPS device on a vehicle.
“I arrived on scene and met with [redacted] who stated that she brought her vehicle to the service shop in order to search for possible tracking devices,” Greer’s report states.
“A plastic black box was secured to the undercarriage of the vehicle (near the passenger side) by way of a large magnet. Inside the box, there was a yellow sponge and a grey GPS device. I spoke with Ashley Judd by telephone who stated that she did not place the GPS on the vehicle nor authorize anyone to place it there.”
The vehicle in question is a 2007 Mini Cooper. Tennessee Code Annotated 39-13-606 states that it is a misdemeanor offense to place a GPS device on a vehicle without the owner’s consent.
The matter of the illegal tracking device is under external investigation.
Asked if there were any personnel infractions on his record, Jordan had this to say.
“In earlier years, I was suspended for being late to an assignment when Major (William) Coffee was a Captain and that’s about the only thing,” Jordan stated this afternoon.
Jordan said he has lived in Franklin since being hired in 1979.
When asked how he felt about working for Franklin Police Department, he said, “Oh, I love it. I love the community. I’ve stayed here. I’ve had the opportunity to work in Nashville,” but he added that he preferred his work in Franklin.
He said he has no plans for hiring an attorney regarding the matter.
At this point, he said he is ready to address the issue with the city.
“It’s probably going to be me and the city administration,” Jordan said.
Until that time, he said he is “hoping and praying” for quick resolution to the matter.
Posted on: 11/27/2013