Art Jefferson served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years. After he
retired, he was accepted to the Abilene Police Academy and repurposed
his military training to serve locally, first as a patrolman with the
Abilene P.D., then as an Academy instructor, and then back to patrol.
None of this prepared him for what was about to happen next. But, thanks
to the TMPA, Art was able to survive the ordeal and get back to the
business of keeping the peace.
A little background, first. Art has three children. Two are in his
custody from a prior relationship, and a third, a son, belongs to him
and his ex-girlfriend. It is regarding the custody of his third child
that Art's story gets a little messy.
Art joined the TMPA in October of 2015, after he was called to the
scene of a domestic disturbance involving drugs and a firearm. En route,
Art got the feeling that this call might not go so well and, as he
drove to the scene, the thought of having no legal representation to
back him up haunted him. Fortunately, some officers closer to the call
arrived first and, after shots were fired and the suspect was
apprehended, Art decided he had dodged a proverbial bullet. He
immediately contacted the TMPA, on advice from a friend, and joined the
Not long after, in March of 2016, Art received notice that A.P.D. was
investigating him for possessing illegal drugs, gathered from a crime
scene, and held at his home since 2009. Art's ex filed the complaint,
claiming that he was using the drugs to train his dogs. Art was
suspended with pay, pending the outcome of the investigation, and by
March 21, Art was terminated.
Not only did they prove my innocence and clear my
record, they also helped me look for employment during the layoff and were a
constant source of encouragement and support.”
"I called TMPA the minute I received notice," Art said. "They
assigned Chris Livingston to my case, who called me back that night and
worked with me to assemble a response."
Over the next five months, TMPA attorneys, Livingston and John
Schneider, prepared Art's legal defense, leading to a hearing by an
independent examiner. The urinalysis on Art came back clean. The claim
was entirely fraudulent, and the examiner ruled in Art's favor,
reinstating him on August 21.
"Not only did they prove my innocence and clear my record, they also
helped me look for employment during the layoff and were a constant
source of encouragement and support," Art said. "Without the TMPA, I may
have had a dishonorable on my F-5, not to mention draining my savings
to pay upwards of $30,000 in legal fees."
Today, Art serves as the desk officer at the A.P.D., and returns home
in the evenings to spend time as a single dad with his children.
"My advice is, don't wait for a need to get legal representation,"
said Art. "Join the TMPA, and rest assured, your back is covered."