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Porterdale restaurant owner files charges, complaint against officer

COVINGTON -- The owner of a Porterdale restaurant that provides WIFI to customers has filed a criminal complaint with the Newton County Sheriff's Office against a Porterdale Police officer who allegedly divulged the Internet password to a group of teens.

Judy Johnson, owner of the Perk Up and Wine Down Cafe and former Porterdale city clerk, alleges Porterdale Police Lt. Jason Cripps gave the password to a group of Explorer Scouts meeting next door to the restaurant after one of the Explorers had attempted to elicit the password from Johnson's daughter.

"A friend texted my daughter and asked her for the password and she told her she couldn't share the password," Johnson said, adding that a few minutes later another text came through that stated, "You're not as sneaky as you think you are," and going on to say that Cripps had announced the password to the group.

"I'm thinking, 'I'm not sneaking. I'm just trying to run a business," Johnson said. "During normal business hours we provide WIFI to paying customers. It is not a free service, but a service I provide to customers who would like to come in and make a purchase and use our Internet. It is password protected."

Johnson said she changes the password periodically, but likened the incident to someone with a water spigot outside their home.

"Just because you know how to turn on the faucet, that doesn't give you permission to use the water," she said.

Johnson said she was able to log on to the system's router and capture the IP addresses of eight or nine unrecognized users. She said she will furnish that information, along with the texts which were sent and saved on her daughter's phone, to investigators.

Johnson also filed a complaint with the Porterdale Police Department alleging that Cripps violated the department's standards of conduct by "obtaining tools (i.e. Internet) on misrepresentation; stealing property of person; and abusive conduct toward member of public."

In that complaint Johnson alleges, "My password is protected -- not open to general public. Mr. Cripps has never been a customer in my shop nor has he ever asked for or been given permission to use my Internet.

"This is at the least theft of services and a violation of his code of office. He has acted in a manner that violates a citizen and a local business. I ask for his prompt removal of office."

First Lt. Mark Mitchell with the NCSO said he is aware of the complaint Johnson filed with that agency.

"A report was filed from the complainant over the weekend and the case is in the initial stages of the investigation," Mitchell said.

Porterdale Police Chief Geoff Jacobs was contacted regarding the complaint and said he wouldn't have any comment until the criminal investigation is complete.

Comments

FishyFishy 2 years, 5 months ago

Just change the password and move on. If the officer was never given the password, he got it somewhere. This is just silly.

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hendrix 2 years, 5 months ago

You are so right. Police shouldn't have to solve all problems.

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ladybug13 2 years, 5 months ago

Are you kidding me.....The officer got the password some how. Whether he was a customer or not. Change the password again and then DON'T give it to anyone if you don't want the public to have it. I thought WIFI was free to the public....A lot of places offer WIFI. Why have a password on it to begin with if it is WIFI.....Come on now get over it. This is ridiculous......

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Kornbred 2 years, 5 months ago

The ONLY businesses I know of that secure their wireless, are businesses that protect data that's on their computers, like City Hall, Police, Accountants, Law Firms, etc... Places like Coffee Shops, restaurants, Atlanta Bread, etc... you just walk in and start using it, you don't need no stinkin' password?! Moron.

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mustardandbiscuit 2 years, 5 months ago

Password? We don't need no stinkin' password?!

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thatguy 2 years, 5 months ago

Generally, I would agree that this is a ticky tack complaint, but she has a point. A police officer should always do what is right, espcially when mentoring a group of teenagers. By going against the wishes of the business owner and using the password, he has, in effect, stolen from that owner. If the Explorers wanted to use the internet, they could have gone a bought a couple of cups of coffee.

The officer needs to learn a very basic lesson: Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

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UGAFan 2 years, 5 months ago

Fishy...Even though it is silly, he obivously knew or should have known what he was doing was wrong. It would be no different than him being at the ATM machine and having someone come up to him and say "hey I just found this ATM card with the PIN #" and him knowingly using that card.

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Kornbred 2 years, 5 months ago

There's a BIG difference. Your analogy sucks.

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UGAFan 2 years, 5 months ago

No difference in the eyes of right is right and wrong is wrong...but from the sounds of it you like swimming in the grey water. My guess is that it's only wrong if it affects you, and otherwise it's ok if it doesnt. Bored....

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mustardandbiscuit 2 years, 5 months ago

I'm sorry, that just makes no sense. Must be a Gen X'er.....

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UGAFan 2 years, 5 months ago

Let me spell it out for you...the area between right and wrong, you know the grey area!!!

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UGAFan 2 years, 5 months ago

Must be the Generation Me, I Am Entitled'er.

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FishyFishy 2 years, 5 months ago

Very good points everyone. I still think calling for him to be fired over it is ridiculous. But, maybe the outcome of this would be a start to cleaning up the pd in Porterdale. One could dream, right?

As an officer he should be held to higher standards. As a role model to the scouts this does make me cringe.

(The quote from the business owner made me feel she has "beef" with this officer and that is what I was responding to for the most part.)

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Kornbred 2 years, 5 months ago

OK Fishy, Tell us everything you know about the PD in Porterdale....

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mustardandbiscuit 2 years, 5 months ago

You know, if this Fishy guy took half as much time checking into just how much time the Porterdale officers spend working with the Explorers, mentoring them and turning their lives around, mostly on THEIR OWN time, He'd be eating his words right about now! My guess is, he's never been a role model to any young person, except maybe his own kids, but that's too easy. "start to cleaning up the pd in Porterdale" WOW! Where have you been? Do you know any of the officers that work at the PD?

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bristol 2 years, 5 months ago

Wonder where Cripps got the password. Will he tell the truth about it? "My password is protected -- not open to general public said Ms. Johnson. And it was used after business hours by non customers ? Some people just don’t know the law or they ignore it. There are rules and regulations when you use WIFI. And who pays the rent on the loft building that the explorers use? Are the tax payers of Porterdale paying for this? If Porterdale can afford to rent a space in the lofts they should be able to afford internet. Get your own internet service explorer leader.

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sillyporterdale 2 years, 5 months ago

What's right is right and what's right is wrong. Maybe it's not against the law for all I know, but it sure does seem unethical.

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Kornbred 2 years, 5 months ago

"What's right is right and what's right is wrong" You drinking again?

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sillyporterdale 2 years, 5 months ago

Interesting side note, the suggested article to read at the bottom of the news page is one that chronicles another complaint against the same officer....

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mustardandbiscuit 2 years, 5 months ago

Are you one of those people that highlights the negative, instead of the positive? Glass half empty kind of girl?

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JamieHardegree 2 years, 5 months ago

We have one of the finest Police Departments that any town could hope for. Those who serve Porterdale serve with a lot of heart. I have personally watched as they have served this community with tireless effort, dedication and loyalty. We are very lucky to have each and every officer who serves. Chief Jacobs does an outstanding job leading this department. Lt. Cripps leads the Porterdale Police Explorers, teaching them the importance of respect for the law and those in authority around them. He teaches them about various aspect of law enforcement that may help these young adults to decide if a future in law enforcement is something they care to pursue. Investigator Clifton assists him each week with this group. His input in invaluable. I've watched as he leads the way with community service projects and fundraisers, teaching them a very strong work ethic "A job worth doing is worth doing well", while teaching them to have fun and enjoy life as they go. I can not express my sincerest gratitude to this department. I walk every night and for the first time in many years it is without fear. Thank you to each member of the Porterdale Police Department.

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UGAFan 2 years, 5 months ago

Not arguing that...only the fact that right is right and wrong is wrong...and this is one way NOT to lead..

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Frustrated 2 years, 5 months ago

so giving them a password meant for the business customers and passing that password around to access the WiFi system is his way of teaching the kids respect for the law?

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mustardandbiscuit 2 years, 5 months ago

You have a point...and he should probably be reprimanded by his boss, but why does she really need a password, anyway? I mean, none of the other eateries have a password, as far as I know there's a window that pops up and you have to promise to be good or something and then you have access. This whole thing smells like a personal agenda?!

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JamieHardegree 2 years, 5 months ago

@bristol The tax payers of Porterdale are not paying for this space.

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Hackman 2 years, 5 months ago

It appears that Porterdale PD also wants free internet service. This city is always applying for various grants. Porterdale needs to change their welcome sign to "Welcome to Porterdale, Your tax dollars at work for those who don't".

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bristol 2 years, 5 months ago

Who pays rent on this building Jamie? Do you know for a fact that Porterdale doesn't pay it? Someone has to be because I don't think it's free.

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bristol 2 years, 5 months ago

Jamie, do you know who is paying for this building? I'm sure someone is.

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kathe22 2 years, 5 months ago

I helped my son, an explorer, write a letter to the landlord thanking him for donating the space.... So your comment of I'm sure someone is well I'm sure I watched each explorer give LT letters to the landlord.... check your facts before writing that you are sure about something

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jtdbdog 2 years, 5 months ago

Its unethical for a police officer to accept something free from a person in the community. Nothing against the lofts its just not ethical.

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Kornbred 2 years, 5 months ago

The Explorer group is owned by the Boy Scouts of America, an only sponsored by various occupational entities. The space was donated to the Explorers by the owner of the Lofts for temporary use and they were not "given" anything.

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Brittrom 2 years, 5 months ago

The space was donated to them. I volunteer with the Explorers often and know this to be the case. It does not cost the city or the taxpayers a dime.

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JamieHardegree 2 years, 5 months ago

I replied earlier, however it has not posted. I am sure that the City of Porterdale is not paying rent on this space.

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momofone 2 years, 5 months ago

WIFI is not free. I have WIFI in my home and it is password protected as well. This is the same as someone plugging in an extension cord at your house and then running it next door to their home without your knowledge. It would seem to me that the Officer should have known that what he was doing was incorrect. IF he did not and was given the password by a family member or friend, he should offer a formal apology. The store owner did take it a little too far, perhaps she should have spoken with him first? Whomever texted her daughter on the other hand should be disciplined and if it was an Explorer, they should be disciplined under their guidelines. I think filing charges was a bit much unless you can show a pattern of misbehavior by this same officer. I did not see a link to another article though.

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bristol 2 years, 5 months ago

Former solicitor files complaints against officer ( June 29, 2011 )

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mustardandbiscuit 2 years, 5 months ago

Go look it up in your law book and tell us what law was broken then..

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Frustrated 2 years, 5 months ago

OCGA 16-9-93(e) password disclosure

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kathe22 2 years, 5 months ago

It state it has to cause damages and it didn't.... read your laws before commenting....

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Kornbred 2 years, 5 months ago

WOW! Don't you look like a total fool now?!

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Kornbred 2 years, 5 months ago

Looks like you jumped the gun DAWG. LOL!!! Read much? The elements of this crime dictate that there must also be a minimum of $500.00 in damages to a computer and/or a network in order for this to be a crime. In addition, there is ONE thing there must always be...criminal intent. In this case, there is none. I think you and your crew need to keep your comments to yourselves until the investigation is complete, it'll save you from looking anymore silly than you already do.

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FishyFishy 2 years, 5 months ago

While I agree that Wifi is not free, I don't agree with your analogy. Additional charges are not incurred by using someone's wifi. While it may be deceitful, it's not the same as stealing water or electricity. It would only become criminal if he hacked into computers via wifi and started stealing information. I have a wireless network that is password protected as well, but no one gets the password. Anyone who uses it is set up by my spouse.

@Jamie glad you feel safe. Perception is everything, but in my opinion there is something severely wrong with a bored pd that sits at intersections and tickets you for picking your nose while driving. (not literally but that is what some of the tickets I've heard about being written amount to).

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tiredofpettinessinporterdale 2 years, 5 months ago

We have lived in Porterdale for 10 years and never been ticketed or pulled over. If you received a citation, you earned it

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Hackman 2 years, 5 months ago

Not true. This is a felony complaint and was turned over to the GBI by Newton County. The GBI report will determine if charges will be filed.

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mustardandbiscuit 2 years, 5 months ago

Apparently, the GBI got a good giggle at it and sent it back to the sheriff. I was told that the sheriff's office was going to handle it now.

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Frustrated 2 years, 5 months ago

If I remember correctly this isnt the first time Lt Cripps has strectched the rules a bit. It seems like he may think he doesnt have to play by the same rules everyone else does. Im not saying the business owner asking for him to be fired or criminal action be taken is right but there might need to be some type of action taken.

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WhatTF 2 years, 5 months ago

I wonder if he knows how to "tap" her phone too? Federal trouble! Seems he is "in" with certain people on the council too? What kind of relationship is going on down there?? Hummm, sounds mighty fishy! Sounds just like Payton Place to me! You never know what might fall out of the tree once you shake it good!

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mustardandbiscuit 2 years, 5 months ago

You need to see a professional, ma'am!

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John 2 years, 5 months ago

Sounds a bit like how the Hatfield & McCoy fued got started to me.

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UGAFan 2 years, 5 months ago

I drive through P-dale twice a day, I just wished they would change the speed limit from 25 to 35 because it sucks having to ride your brakes all the way down the hill until you cross the bridge. But as for the cops ticketing you for picking your nose, i just dont see it. There have been a few times I have come around the corner where it goes from 45-35, and have been still a little fast and all the popo did was flash his lights as a friendly gesture. I do see the Exlporers out there doing great things under the leadership of the P-dale popo...should he be fired? No...But seriously, the guy had to have known better and used better judgement.

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mustardandbiscuit 2 years, 5 months ago

I'm guessing they won't do that because of tools like you that see a 25mph sign and go 40. If they raise it to 35, you'll be doing 50+ and there are too many pedestrians downtown. Get a clue, dude?

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UGAFan 2 years, 5 months ago

Actually I obey the 25 mph speed limit that goes through P-Dale. Many of people have pulled up on my bumper because I refuse to go over the limit and I do stop for the pedestrians at the crosswalk and I do wave at the firemen at the station. I obey the law...so if being a law abiding citizen is classified as a tool, then obviously I am too big of a tool for you to handle...so just stick with your erector set.

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John 2 years, 5 months ago

If you don't want to pump your brakes down a grade to maintain the speed limit, just simply down shift to the next lower gear - that's what it is there for or move to a flat land area - like west Texas or Oklahoma or North/South Dakota.

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AWOL 2 years, 5 months ago

One day, someone is going to grow a brain and shut the whole town government down. The need to close porterdale government and make it part of newton with Covington hadling all the legal stuff down there. There will never be any real good policemen down there because they either cant make it somewhere else or are just rookies trying to get started. SHut that weird little city down. It's like the twilight zone 24 - 7 down there.

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Gafan4life 2 years, 5 months ago

I'd be willing to bet that "mustardandbiscuit" and "Kornbread" are Portderdale officers, if not one or both of them beigh Cripps himself. Who else would take the time to go through all these comments and make negative and demeaning comments on almost every other posters "opinions". From what I hear he speaks in a derogatory way to others. Struck a nerve--have we???

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