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Criminal complaint against Porterdale officer dropped

COVINGTON -- The complaint brought against Porterdale Police Officer Jason Cripps alleging that he divulged the WiFi password of a local restaurant without permission has been dismissed by the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

Judy Johnson, owner of the Perk Up and Wine Down Cafe, had filed a criminal complaint with the NCSO alleging theft of services in connection with the incident in which Cripps told a group of Explorers the restaurant's password.

"It has been thoroughly investigated and it was found it was unfounded," said NCSO Public Information Officer Courtney Morrison. "Our investigation and our findings were confirmed by the District Attorney's Office, as well. There was no crime committed that we were able to determine."

Morrison said the investigation showed that Cripps did divulge the password to a group of Explorers, but he did not violate the law.

"We look at it from a law aspect and there was no crime committed. Porterdale will handle any internal investigation," Morrison said.

Porterdale Police Chief Geoff Jacobs said he felt like the correct determination was made by the NCSO investigation.

"I don't feel like he was doing anything that he felt was wrong. There was no criminal intent, no malice aforethought and I'm sure the investigation revealed that," Jacobs said. "It did cause a few ripples and there was some poor judgment, and I'll deal with that on a personnel basis."

Jacobs went on to say that Officer Cripps was at the Explorers meeting off duty and devoting his personal time to the Explorers and that it was his understanding that the password had already been given out by Johnson and her daughter to several others who were at the meeting.

Johnson said the matter had been explained to her by NCSO personnel that there was no law broken.

"They were very professional and courteous, and the detective took a lot of time explaining to me why they couldn't pursue it. They did say if I can find case law to show there was a law broken, they'd be happy to revisit it, but unless he had actually gone into my computer (to retrieve the information), it was not illegal," Johnson said.

Johnson, a former Porterdale city clerk, had 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."

She said she has no intention of withdrawing that complaint, but holds out very little hope that anything will be done about it.

"My firm belief, based on previous cases, is that the Porterdale Police Department will not behave ethically and this individual will not be punished," she said. "I feel extremely violated over this. I feel wronged and I feel like just because the law is gray doesn't mean that what he did was not wrong. Something needs to happen. This behavior needs to change."

Comments

Sundance 2 years, 1 month ago

This policeman is sure in the paper a lot. He is either a good policemen and the citizens are ornery, or the citizens are good and he is hard to deal with. This kind of stuff doesn't just happen without some underlying problem.

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Kornbred 2 years, 1 month ago

@Sundance I think you hit the old nail on the head with option #1. I'll admit, I do know this officer and he is a great police officer, but he's also a human being. He makes mistakes just like everybody else. Just because he wears a shirt to work with patches on the sleeves and a badge & gun, doesn't make him mistake-proof! The same could be said for the young lady that raised the complaint against him. I'm pretty sure that SHE'S made some mistakes. In fact, I've been sitting here wondering why she's no longer the city clerk at the city of Porterdale? Did she quit? Did she retire? Was she run off? (My son-in-law says that's spelled R-U-N-N-O-F-T LOL) Seriously, why did she go from making around $35-$40,000 year to owning a business with debt and a salary of maybe $5-$10,000 year? Hmmmmm, inquiring minds want to know !!!!!

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sweetpotato 2 years, 1 month ago

Porterdale should get out of the Police business anyway , they would probably be better off to contract out Police services from Sheriffs Office or maybe even City of Covington. I am originally from California lots of the smaller towns there pay the Sheriff of the county they are in to keep a deputy 24 hours in their town and in some cases they even provide the vehicle apparently it works its done in other places.

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Kornbred 2 years, 1 month ago

I've always been amazed at certain things like, people that know absolutely nothing (or at least a miniscule amount) about police work, police agencies or municipal operations in general, talking about what cities and counties OUGHT to do, and how they would be better off?! Well sir, this ain't California and the scenario you just furnished will never work here.

First of all, the GOOD citizens of Porterdale love their police department and want their police department. The BAD citizens, and there are only a few, do not want it so that they can party and steal and drive any old way they want to. The Newton County Sheriff's Office is already so short-handed that they can barely cover their own territory. NCSO does NOT want Porterdale. The citizens do NOT want the NCSO policing their village. If a local police department is going to be successful fighting crime in its community, it has to be IN the community day in and day out and it has to know its citizens. If you're easing through town at 45 mph without stopping, that doesn't work. The Porterdale officers know their residents, the good ones and the bad ones, and the citizens know them.

And, just in case you're out of touch with reality, they don't have the same officers or the same Police Chief that they had 2 years ago. There's been a complete turnover, save one, and there have been 9 or more new programs initiated and at least a 300% improvement in the agency. You wouldn't get that kind of personal service with one deputy, sir.

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sillyporterdale 2 years, 1 month ago

Kornbread should just change his name to Porterdale Employee, it might be a little more transparent. Always jumping in there with great inside information and a slanted viewpoint. Inquiring minds want to know...I think they already do.

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livingart 2 years, 1 month ago

My questions are now - and have been for several years - why does Porterdale need so many people on payroll. The city and county taxes are way too much for what we are receiving in return. Cleaning up the nasty would be a start.....

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kathe22 2 years, 1 month ago

I think it is so funny that sillyporterdale thinks Kornbread is a Porterdale employee.... I know who it is and def not an employee.... livingart have you seen the town lately? The explorers and CARE have done a lot to clean up the community and the officers are trying to get rid of the trash but trash is in every town....

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dennistay53 2 years, 1 month ago

My problem would be is this the type person i would want my child to associate with? Wheter it is against the law or not to steal wifi it certainly is not ethical.

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