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Prosecutor dismisses all tickets/cases by Egypt
JONESBORO, Ark. – Former Egypt Police Chief Gerald Goza is being investigated again after evidence suggests he may have been acting as a police officer since January 7, when he supposedly resigned.
NEA Report learned of the investigation after submitting a new Freedom of Information Act request regarding Goza. The request was denied under the reason of it being “under investigation.” We then verified with the investigating officer, Deputy David Bailey at Craighead County Sheriff’s Office, that an on-going criminal probe was being conducted.
“I can confirm that there is an ongoing investigation involving this matter and can’t comment any further at this time,” said Bailey.
Late Wednesday, NEA Report received evidence that Goza may have been operating as an officer of the law, illegally, for over a month. We forwarded it to the prosecuting attorney, who said he made the appropriate authorities aware.
All tickets dismissed by prosecutor
Every single outstanding ticket and criminal case under the City of Egypt’s police department was dismissed on Thursday morning at 8:30 AM, after NEA Report broke news on Wednesday that Police Chief Gerald Goza was no longer a certified police officer and hadn’t been for a month. Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington sent the following statement out to the press:
I was made aware yesterday, Wednesday, February 12, 2020 that Egypt Police Chief Gerald Goza was removed from service by the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training (CLEST) on January 9, 2020 for failure to meet minimum standards for law enforcement in the State of Arkansas.
Additionally, it has come to my attention that Goza may have continued to act as a law enforcement officer since that time, despite him receiving notice from CLEST that he had been removed from service for certification deficiencies. At no point in time until the afternoon of February 12 was my office ever made aware of either of these points.
As such, my office is formally requesting the following:
1. That any and all criminal cases arising from arrests made or citations issued by Goza and/or the Egypt Police Department be dismissed. Had I known before yesterday that Goza had been removed from service by CLEST in January, I would have immediately moved to dismiss said cases.
2. That CLEST decertify Goza as a certified law enforcement officer in the State of Arkansas for failure to meet minimum standards and for continuing to act as a law enforcement officer after his official removal by CLEST as of January 9, 2020.
I place the integrity of public safety as an utmost priority, and will take appropriate action as necessary under the circumstances.
Scott Ellington, Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney
The man behind the document requests, Stephen Warren, said he felt like justice was finally prevailing in the case.
“I have complete confidence in Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington, that he has taken proper action with the information that he has been provided, and that he has acted and will continue to act in good faith,” Warren said.
Thursday morning, hours after he had released the same statement to other press outlets in the town, Mayor Jerry Cook released this statement to NEA Report:
Gerald Goza submitted a letter of resignation as police chief on 1-7-2020. Since that time Gerald Goza has not acted as police chief or police officer for the City of Egypt. The City of Egypt cooperated with CLEST regarding an inquiry into Goza ‘s qualifications.
When hired by the City of Egypt in October, 2018 by former police chief as a patrolman his records showed that he was certified by CLEST and had served many years as a police officer. This included local towns such as Cash and Alicia.
– Mayor Jerry Cook
Cook appears to have been unaware that, in the same personnel file he had Warren arrested for requesting, a report states Goza was dismissed from Cash Police Department for not having his GED.