NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The Nacogdoches County district clerk has released the four-count indictment of a Nacogdoches County chief deputy.
Stephen Godfrey, 44, is charged with four counts of third-degree aggravated perjury.
The indictment states Godfrey lied about his college degrees during a suppression hearing on Jan. 15, 2015, and again during a suppression hearing on Dec. 4, 2015, stating both times he had bachelor's degrees in criminal justice and psychology.
A quick check with Stephen F. Austin State University's Registrar's Office implies otherwise on all the claims.
An office spokesperson said Godfrey does in fact holds a bachelor's of applied art and science degree that he obtained in August of 2002. His major was applied arts and science with two concentrations - one in public safety and the other in private security.
East Texas News dug deeper. A copy of Godfrey's transcripts, acquired from his personnel file from the Nacogdoches Police Department, shows Godfrey took a psychology class, but didn't obtain a degree in the subject.
In that same personnel file, we found Godfrey stated on his Nacogdoches Police Department job application that he has a bachelor's in criminal justice. Again that information is not what SFA has recorded in its files.
The allegations made against Chief Godfrey could lead to more background checks.
For example, in 2000, Godfrey worked for the now defunct narcotics task force. A federal judge ruled in a drug traffic stop that Godfrey's reasons for stopping a vehicle were not truthful and illegal. Godfrey found cocaine, but the judge ruled it was not a legal search.
Godfrey has been Sheriff Jason Bridges' right hand man for the last three years. They're close friends, having returned six weeks ago from a cruise they took with their wives.
"Chief Godfrey has been in law enforcement for over 21 years and in the military and law enforcement," Bridges wrote in an earlier statement. "This administrative leave is not a reflection on Chief Godfrey, and our thoughts and prayers are with Chief Godfrey and his young family as he goes through this difficult and stressful process."
Godfrey is also receiving words of support from Facebook friends.
The detailed discovery, which likely began with defense lawyers, may soon have friends asking why someone who knows the law lie under oath even if it is just about his college degree.
Bridges has placed Godfrey on leave with pay, pending the outcome of the investigation.
Bridges said Godfrey turned himself in on the charges on Tuesday and posted his $2,500 bond.