Police officer sacked for misconduct.
Byline: BETHANY LODGE firstname.lastname@example.org @bethlodge1
A POLICE officer has been sacked for writing a reference for a former colleague without authority.
PC Stephen Wright posed as a sergeant to fill out the reference for PC Kelly Jarvis, who had been suspended from the force.
He was found to have carried out misconduct in breaching standards of professional behaviour, and gross misconduct over issues of honesty and integrity.
PC Wright, who had been a police officer for 10 years, was dismissed from the force with immediate effect.
Bench chairman Ian Palmer said: "We've given due consideration to all the evidence put before us. It is our decision that the misconduct in this case will be dismissal without notice.
"The gross misconduct undermines the public expectations of the police service.
"Cleveland Police must be able to rely on its officers with the upholding of the law and honesty and integrity at its heart."
He added that PC Wright's actions led to "reputational damage to Cleveland Police and how the public view the service".
The hearing heard PC Wright filled out an employer's reference for his former colleague, despite not being her supervisor at the time.
Jarvis had been suspended from the police force and was under investigation for allegations of holding a personal vendetta against former friend, Fiona Williams.
When she applied for a job as a project support worker for charitable organisation Reach Out Care, the reference was sent to PC Wright at his work address at Redcar Police Station.
When asked if Jarvis had ever been the subject of disciplinary proceedings, he answered no.
Mr Palmer added: "The panel felt he could have made it clear by writing on the reference that it was a character reference. The honest response would have been to disclose his knowledge of her disciplinary action.
"The panel believe misconduct and gross misconduct have taken place."
Helen Hogben, mitigating, said his actions were "out of character" and he had been described in a character reference as "brutally honest".
When giving evidence at the two-day hearing at Cleveland Police Headquarters, PC Wright said he believed no further action was being taken against Jarvis, and therefore no disciplinary procedures had taken place.
Deputy Chief Constable for Cleveland Police, Simon Nickless, said: "The public rightly expects the very highest standards of conduct from our officers and staff.
"The Misconduct Hearing panel found that PC Wright acted in a dishonest manner and that this constituted gross misconduct. He has been dismissed with immediate effect.
"Officers are held to a high standard and PC Wright, through his failure to act with honesty and integrity, has not lived up to this standard."