Jonesboro State Police commander suspended for repeated misconduct

JONESBORO, Ark. – A seven-day unpaid suspension for rule violations was levied against Arkansas State Police Lt. Brant Tosh of Jonesboro last month. While he gets to keep his job, the board review suggests he lacks judgment, treats other employees disrespectfully, and has repeatedly abused his authority as an ASP commander.

It stemmed from an investigation dating back more than a year which alleged Tosh had used state vehicles and employees for personal reasons, among many other claims. The investigation also made mention of his lack of “tact” and demeanor toward other employees. Tosh will not be allowed to seek a promotion for a year but held onto his job. His father is Republican state Rep. Dwight Tosh, a retired State Police captain.

The full file includes a summary of the findings:

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Lt. Tosh used his administrative assistant for work unrelated to Arkansas State Police business during the time she was compensated by the state. He also used the services of the inmate assigned to ASP headquarters in Jonesboro for his personal benefit. Lt. tosh drove his state vehicle to a school board conference in Little Rock that was unrelated to agency business in December 2016. A Company F agent performed work on a boat belonging to Lt. Tosh during his work day on more than one occasion. It was agreed upon by personnel working at headquarters in Jonesboro that Lt. Tosh is typically present in the office approximately twenty hours per week.

The State Police Command Staff Review Board determined Tosh violated sections on Fair Labor Standards related to recording time. He violated General Section 3, related to use of state vehicles and unbecoming conduct toward other employees. Tosh violated General Section 26, pertaining to inappropriate computer use. Tosh also violated General Section 28, relating to the inmate program.

On top of that, the CSRB unanimously agreed he violated rules of conduct related to securing advantage due to his employment as state police. Even though the rules clearly state employees should recognize the limitations of their authority and not use it to influence others, Tosh did just that. In his official capacity as CID Company Commander, he wrote a letter on official ASP letter head for a student at Valley View School District, where Tosh was school board president at the time. The letter requested special consideration of the student to receive an “early age waiver” to drive a vehicle.

Some of the other judgmentally-impaired decisions Tosh made included:

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  • Tosh brought his personally owned leaf blower to be repaired by a work-release inmate.
  • Tosh made an inmate fix his daughter’s lamp
  • Had a special agent work on his boat
  • Ordered an agent to escort a funeral of a friend, in uniform.
  • Had his secretary enter Valley View Public School employee’s birthdays and personal data in Outlook
  • Ordered his secretary to use his computer to manage a 5K run
  • Used State Police vehicle to attend a Board of Education meeting in Little Rock Dec. 7, 8, and 9, 2016. Tosh used an annual leave day to attend the meeting while operating an ASP vehicle
  • Tosh also used his CID truck to go to his farm on undated occasions.

“The circumstances surrounding this incident are highly questionable and reflect extremely poor judgment upon someone entrusted with the command of an ASP CID Company,” wrote the CSRB in their report.

Not only that, but Tosh was also found to be in violating of professional conduct. The board found he violated General Section 3 for conduct unbecoming on numerous occasions. Even with proof, Tosh denied this.

“The file contains numerous instances of Lt. Tosh’s lack of tact and professionalism in his interaction with his subordinates as required under Employees to be Professional,” the board wrote, saying it interfered with operations and efficiency of his agency.

The report said extensive testimony was given regarding Tosh’s demeanor toward personnel and “how his leadership style was detrimental to the effectiveness of Company F.” One officer told the board his attitude was “disassociated” and “apathetic,” with officers having a hard time getting a hold of him during investigations.

A Company F Administrative Specialist, Carla Wilson, was interviewed in 2017. She said Tosh told her to open his door and turn on his light, since he doesn’t come into the office, some days. She also said he would take sick days where he would show up for an hour and a half and not complete a leave request form. She said she didn’t like the way Tosh talked to her and felt she deserved “a little bit of respect.”

“You cannot please the man,” Wilson told board investigators. “He gripes about everything and nothing is done correctly.”

The report concludes by calling attention to Tosh admitting to violating policy when pressed during an interview. However, during his testimony before the board, after he had time to review the file, he said he didn’t believe he violated any ASP policy or procedure.

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