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Charlotte Area News

Judge orders release of Jackson termination letter

http://66.225.205.104/1122Monroefile.mp3

A judge on Monday ordered the city of Charlotte to release the termination letter for former CMPD officer Marcus Jackson. Chief Rodney Monroe fired Jackson last year after women accused him of seeking sexual favors after pulling them over in traffic stops. He's now charged with sexual battery against six women. WFAE's Lisa Miller covered Monday's hearing. Here's a transcript of her report on conversation with All Things Considered host Mark Rumsey: Mark: Lisa, what does the termination letter say? Anything we didn't know? Lisa: Well, the letter doesn't reveal much that we don't already know about accusations against Jackson. CMPD said right away he was fired because of Unbecoming Conduct - and that's what the letter says. Then, it goes into some detail on two of the allegations against him. And remember, more women came forward after he was fired and arrested. The city also released a small portion of his personnel file and that included suspensions that occurred in September and November of 2009. This was before the first sexual battery accusations were made in December. The two suspensions contradict a statement made by Police Chief Rodney Monroe shortly after Jackson was arrested. "I'm aware one time, one incident that he's been suspended for and that involved speed, operating a vehicle outside of policy," Monroe said at a January 5th press conference. MARK: So why did Chief Monroe say that? LISA: We're not sure. At the time media was asking for officer Jackson's personnel record. There was much speculation that he had been in trouble. Earlier this year, WFAE had obtained a memo to Monroe that showed he was suspended a second time. We asked Monroe then about the discrepancyand we never heard back. This evening we asked about this again. We're still waiting to hear back. MARK: So why did we get Jackson's personnel info today, nearly a year after he was arrested? LISA: A new state law took effect October 1st. It said certain portions of government employees' personnel records are public record. These include things like salary, termination notices, and suspensions. Jackson's attorney argued in this case the termination notice isn't included in that law. She also said if it was released it would be difficult to give him a fair trial. The District Attorney's Office agreed with that. However, the judge did not. MARK: And why is that? LISA: It's simple, really, Superior Court Judge Robert Ervin didn't go into elaborate judicial discourse. After inspecting the letter, he said it qualifies as a public record. He also denied a request by Jackson's attorney to withhold a release of the letter pending an appeal.