Firing Police Officers Easier Said Than Done
(Memphis) – In the end, Officer James Valentine had the last say on his police career, deciding to quit the force Tuesday in the midst of another scandal.
There was a chance he could have kept his job again, despite another case of domestic violence.
It happened back in 2005. The Memphis Police Department fired Valentine after three different cases where his girlfriend said he choked her.
Then, in 2006, he reached a settlement with the City of Memphis and his termination was rescinded.
His personnel files don’t indicate the terms of the settlement, but the Memphis Police Union President Mike Williams says settlements are common.
“Before we start convicting people there needs to be a thorough investigation because a lot of allegations have been made that haven’t been proven,” says Williams.
In 2011, the Police Department fired Valentine again for personal conduct involving domestic violence. Eight months later he was back, this time through a labor settlement that required he take anger management classes.
Settlements keep the city from having to spend money taking cases to court.
WREG Investigators found the City of Memphis settled more cases than it won or lost involving the Police Department.
In some cases, officers under the gun actually got their guns back.
“Just because someone made accusations doesn’t necessarily mean you are guilty,” says Williams.
Union leaders say James Valentine still proclaims his innocence in the case over the weekend where he was accused of pulling his gun on his ex-girlfriend and her friend.
They say he decided to resign because he didn’t want his family to have to go through any more.