Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Local News

July 1, 2013

Glasgow police Sgt. Jessie Barton to be reinstated



One of the biggest issues in the mayor's decision to seek termination of Barton is the inconsistency compared to punishments meted out against other GPD officers, Simpson said. An officer who stole gasoline from the city was suspended for only three days without pay, while an officer found drunk in public was not punished.

Phelps was the first witness called by Glasgow City Attorney Ben Rogers, who argued the case against Barton. Phelps and Rogers read through much of Barton's trial testimony, where Barton said he intentionally lied to federal investigators out of fear of retaliation by Eaton. Phelps interviewed Barton, Lt. Col. James Duff and Detective Tammy Britt during his investigation.

During Phelps' investigation, Barton revealed that he had previously made a complaint to GPD Chief Guy Turcotte about Turcotte's interactions with Barton's wife, and Barton felt this internal investigation was a form of retaliation by the chief. After Turcotte talked with Sara and drove her to the hospital on Thanksgiving night because she was threatening to commit suicide (which Barton later explained was part of a medication reaction), Turcotte then began visiting Sara late at night, texting her frequently and socializing with her when Barton was not around. Simpson had Phelps review Turcotte's text messages to Sara Barton on the stand and then asked whether Phelps thought Turcotte's behavior was appropriate.

“I don't believe that that is appropriate, no,” Phelps said.

Simpson also asked Phelps about a Kentucky State Police investigation into a Glasgow police officer harassing and stalking Sara Barton. The report Phelps saw does not name Turcotte, Phelps said, but there is an open KSP investigation.

Rogers wrapped up his case with Phelps' testimony, and Simpson called Williams as his first witness. Upon questioning, Williams confirmed to Simpson that GPD policy is that no media releases are publicized for internal affairs investigations until the investigation is complete, yet there was a release in May about the investigation into Barton. Turcotte directs what is released to the media, Williams said.

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