Bartlett TN cop w/disciplinary history fired for driving cruiser to Hooters then having beer in front of inspector

(Clay Bailey)   A Bartlett police detective has been fired after driving a city-issued vehicle to Hooters while off duty and having a beer in front of her when an inspector approached.

Jennifer Wilson, who had been with the department for about 10 years, was dismissed Friday on charges of violating administrative and city employee policies, including insubordination, improper use of a city vehicle, conduct unbecoming a city employee, carelessness in performance of duty and violating the law enforcement ethics code.

Asst. Police Chief Glen Williamson said her termination was also based on previous disciplinary action.

“This is reoccurring behavior over the past three years,” Williamson said.

In a report to Mayor Keith McDonald’s administration recommending Wilson’s firing, Police Chief Gary Rikard wrote: “It is apparent to me that all means of corrective discipline have been used with Detective Wilson. She handles sensitive and important investigations and there is a pattern of carelessness and negligence in her personal and professional life which is a liability to the city.”

Wilson has been disciplined a half dozen times in the past 31/2 years, often on charges of carelessness and neglect of duty. Two times it was for not answering a call to come into work after hours. She also was reprimanded for 1,483 messages on her city-issued cellphone for which she did not reimburse the city.

The latest incident occurred May 7. Insp. Jeff Cox, head of investigations, got a call that Wilson drove the unmarked, city-issued car assigned to her to the Hooter’s in the Wolfchase area.

Cox noticed the car as he entered the restaurant, and saw Wilson sitting with a beer in front of her. Wilson said she had not started drinking the beer, and acknowledged she should not have taken the city car for personal use if not on duty or on call.

She has five days to appeal the department’s recommendation that she be fired.

Wilson could not be reached for comment Tuesday. A number in the phone book for Wilson’s address was disconnected, and no other contact numbers were immediately available.

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