Goodyear Deputy Police Chief Justin Hughes

Goodyear ex-Deputy Police Chief Justin Hughes

Allison Braughton submitted an application for disability retirement Aug. 22, 2019.

Kyle Cluff submitted an application for disability retirement Jan. 6.

Justin Hughes submitted an application for disability retirement April 1.

All were subjects of Goodyear Police Department investigations.

Braughton, who resigned from the Goodyear Police Department, was the subject of numerous internal investigations, it was revealed during a firing  appeal by former Police Chief Jerry Geier. 

Santiago Rodriguez, who had been Goodyear’s acting police chief since Geier was suspended in October, was promoted to police chief May 18. 

The Geier investigation started when Hughes, the deputy chief of the Goodyear Police Department, and Marcus Patterson, president of the Goodyear Police Officers Association, made numerous complaints about Geier. Among the complaints were claims Geier inappropriately promoted Braughton, then did not allow staff members to provide reports to the Maricopa County attorney’s office and Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training following an alleged April 3, 2019, hit-and-run by Braughton while she was off duty in Glendale.

Copies of the Braughton, Hughes and Cluff disability applications requested by the West Valley View were provided to the newspaper, but with almost all information except applicant names and dates of the applications redacted for privacy reasons.

On Feb. 27, the board tabled Braughton’s application for accidental disability, so “the board may obtain all treatment records ... from the date of resignation, Sept. 3, 2019, through Feb. 27,” according to meeting minutes.

The April 30 meeting of the Police Public Safety Personnel Retirement Board, which included executive session (not open to the public) discussions of the Hughes and Cluff applications, concluded with an announcement that the next meeting was scheduled for May 28.

On May 5, notice was posted via Goodyear’s calendar that the police retirement board would meet the next day, at 3:30 p.m., via a phone conference call (Goodyear, like other cities, is not allowing the public to attend meetings in person).

The May 5 meeting lasted 70 minutes. The police retirement board was in executive session for all but five minutes.

During the brief public portion of the meeting, the board voted—with Jason Mattie recusing himself, as he had down previously on the Cluff matter—to send Cluff to an independent medical examiner “with questions.”

Cluff, who resigned as a Goodyear police officer in January, shortly before the release of an investigation found him to be untruthful, was advised an update would be sent to him.

There was no announcement made about Hughes. His case was apparently discussed in the first half of the executive session.

Hughes is also the subject of an investigation into improprieties that has been concluded. But Goodyear will not release the investigation until Hughes has used his personal leave time.

On April 30, the board unanimously voted to “accept the application for disability for Justin Hughes and to send him for an independent medical examination with additional questions,” according to meeting minutes. As it did May 5, the board discussed the Hughes case privately in executive session before making its ruling in public.

The board is scheduled to meet at 8 a.m. May 28. At press time, no agenda was posted.