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Posted on: Tuesday, 23 February 2021
And Sometimes, Things Can Get Messy
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Art Jefferson

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 Association.

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."

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