After a strongly-worded concluson by an examiner, the city of Goodyear upheld its December firing of former Goodyear Police Chief Jerry Geier.
Geier appealed his termination, claiming Deputy Police Chief Justin Hughes and Marcus Patterson, president of the Goodyear Police Officers Association, conspired to file false charges against him—in the hope that Hughes would become chief.
“The Geier appeal is complete, and the city has decided to uphold the termination decision,” Tammy Vo, a Gooodyear spokeswoman, said April 10.
Steven Serbalik, Geier’s attorney, said Geier “is disappointed by the decision, as he acted with integrity during the entire time he served as chief of the Goodyear Police Department. He is a dedicated public servant with decades of experience.”
Hughes was also investigated for misconduct. Vo said the city will not make any decisions or release details on the investigation until Hughes has used personal leave time he is taking.
Examiner Harold Merkow heard the appeal Feb. 24, March 3 and March 4.
“As chief of police, appellant’s dishonesty during the investigation are unfathomable actions and are a corruption of what police work is all about,” Merkow wrote in his March 17 recommendation.
“(Geier) was dishonest during the investigation of his ethics and conduct,” Merkow wrote.
The genesis of the investigation was an Oct. 1 complaint filed by Patterson.
The city placed Geier on administrative leave and hired independent investigators Susan Segal and Donald Conrad to look into the charges.
Patterson claimed, after former Goodyear Police Officer Allison Braughton wrecked her car, Geier told Hughes, then-Deputy Chief Santiago Rodriguez (who is now acting chief), Sgt. Jason Bayer and others not to file reports to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board.
After interviewing multiple staff members, Conrad found many of the allegations against Geier to be valid.
“Geier created a false narrative where he repeatedly told Bayer, Rodriguez and Hughes that there had been no investigation,” Conrad’s report stated.
Conrad termed Geier’s statements that there was no investigation an “all but ridiculous position.”
Though it was not raised in Patterson’s complaint, Geier was also investigated for his actions during the search for Mikalia Hughes, an FBI agent who is Justin Hughes’ wife. Justin Hughes asked for the undercover officers of Goodyear’s Neighborhood Enforcement Team (NET) to help him find his wife, saying he feared she was kidnapped by a gang in Phoenix.
She was later found unharmed.
Geier claimed he had little knowledge about the search at first, then ordered the detectives to stop the search and return to Goodyear.
According to Conrad, “Geier was not truthful at his interviews about the NET search and the orders he gave.”