The sole investigator of an Arkansas sheriff’s department has resigned, following an incident where he enlisted a drunken inmate to drive him around because he himself was too drunk to drive.
Dallas County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Josh McMullen reported that Investigator Chance Dodson has tendered his resignation following the incident, which took place Saturday night in Jefferson County near the town of Pine Bluff.
JCSO deputies were called out to an accident scene where a car had deviated from the road and hit a fence, causing damage to both the fence and the vehicle. Upon arrival, they found 38-year-old Dallas County inmate Jason Poole and 42-year-old Dodson, who were travelling in Dodson’s personal vehicle.
Poole and Dodson were then taken into custody for blood-alcohol testing. During the process, Dodson was belligerent toward the deputies, insisting he was on an undercover investigation and that they were “on the same team.”
“He was uncooperative in all phases of this encounter, only at one point giving his name,” said JCSO Major Lafayette Woods.
The incident was captured on body camera.
When asked what department Dodson was a member of, the drunken deputy responded with “what department do you want me to be?”
In an incident report, DCSO Sheriff Stan McGahee denied Dodson’s allegations that the deputy had been working undercover -let alone outside of his jurisdiction- utilizing a personal vehicle with an inmate who was “borrowed” from the jail.
Chief Deputy McMullen told KATV that the department had initially suspended Dodson during the investigation but had decided to fire him. Dodson, however, resigned the day before he was fired.
Dallas County deputies were reportedly allowed to check out inmates to “do jobs,” but the policy has since been amended and will now require the Sheriff of Chief Deputy’s sign-off.
McMullen confirmed that the Sheriff bailed out Dodson because he was not driving at the time of the accident. The inmate -who blew a 0.14 BAC- was charged with a DWI while Dodson was merely charged with disorderly conduct.
Saving grace, it seems, for a man who will soon be looking for employment elsewhere.
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