JASPER, TX (KTRE) - An officer with the Jasper Police Department has been asked to resign in the wake of allegations that she made seven unauthorized purchases totaling $471.26 on the Jasper Police Association's account.
According to a press release, members of the Jasper Police Association approached Chief Gerald Hall and said that there were possible unauthorized charges on the association's account that were made by a JPD officer.
"I immediately instructed an officer to conduct an internal investigation into the allegation in an attempt to verify its validity and to report back to me," Hall said. "However, in the meantime the officer alleged to have committed the acts, officer Wanda Brister was allowed to continue in regular duty pending the outcome of the investigation."
The press release stated that the internal investigation was wrapped up on March 20. A final report revealed that thus far in 2017, Brister made two unauthorized transactions for a sum of $186.15 for personal use, the press release stated.
In addition, the internal investigation showed that Brister made five unauthorized charges for a total of $285.11 on the Jasper Police Association account, the press release stated.
"Officer Brister served as the president of the Jasper Police Association, which is a separate entity from the Jasper Police Department," the press release stated. "The Association consists of both sworn officers of the Jasper Police Department and civilian employees of the City of Jasper. When confronted with the initial investigation Officer Brister voluntarily resigned her position as President of the Association."
In the press release, Hall explained that because the Jasper Police Department is a separate entity from the Jasper Police Association, they presented the findings to the association's members and allowed them to decide whether or not criminal charges should be filed against Brister.
"The Association collectively agreed that no criminal charges were to be filed on Brister with the condition that she was to reimburse the group of the money in question," the press release stated. "However due to policy violations Officer Brister was asked to resign her position with the City of Jasper."
Hall also said that the Jasper Police Association has two operational funds - the fundraiser account and the administrative account. He said that the investigation showed that discrepancies were found in both accounts.
"As Chief of the Jasper Police Department I have worked with the board members of the Association to put procedures in place that reduce the risk that the unauthorized use of the funds will not happen in the future," Hall said in the press release. "I have also worked with board members to see that a set of checks and balances are have also been enacted."