Arkansas State trooper demoted after internal investigation
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas State Police Commission upheld a decision by the agency's director Wednesday to demote a state trooper who violated state policy, according to Public Information Officer Bill Sadler.
According to information provided by Sadler, Scott Pillow was demoted from sergeant to corporal after State Police Director Stan Witt found Pillow failed to perform his job duties "in a professional and competent manner."
A letter from Witt to Pillow stated, "you (Pillow) demonstrated conduct unbecoming when you suggested Robert Payne dispose of the counterfeit currency then retrieved it and replaced it with your own money; and that you did not follow evidence/property control procedures."
According to a memorandum filed in May, an internal investigation revealed that Pillow met with Lee on February 20, 2014 to return two evidence packages, which contained a total of $1,963.
Later that night, Payne told Pillow $600 of the money was counterfeit. Pillow told Payne to meet him the next day.
According to the memorandum, Pillow withdrew $600 from his bank account and gave the money to Payne and confiscated the $600 in counterfeit cash.
Pillow was disciplined for not contacting his company commander about the meetings. Witt also found Pillow to be candid throughout the investigation and did not find him in violation of an "ASP policy related to truthfulness."
The discipline handed down by Witt is the first mark against Pillow since he joined Arkansas State Police in November, 1994. He started as a highway patrol officer with Troop A before moving to criminal investigations in 1998. Region 8 News obtained a copy of Pillow's personnel file by filing a Freedom of Information request.
As part of his job in criminal investigations, Pillow has been assigned to "homicides, rapes, thefts, computer crime and various types of other crimes, acting as the lead investigator."
Pillow was promoted to sergeant in 2013, according to his personnel file.
According to the personnel file, Pillow's pay will be cut by 10-percent, effective July 7, 2014.
After 120 days, Witt will report to the commission about Pillow's standing. If Pillow is in good standing with the department, then he could be promoted back to sergeant.
Sadler said the counterfeit cash in the case was turned over to the U.S. Secret Service.
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