Springfield police chief resigns after guilty plea

Updated: Apr. 28, 2015 at 3:49 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - Springfield Police Chief James Jones pleaded guilty to a single count of criminal mischief and immediately resigned from office Tuesday.

The charge in the 21st Judicial District Court stems from an incident in which Jones was accused of conspiring to hide a woman's 2011 DWI citation.

According to prosecutors with the Louisiana Attorney General's Public Corruption Unit, a Springfield police officer cited a Livingston Parish woman with DWI after a breathalyzer test showed her blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit. At the request of Springfield Mayor Charles Martin, the chief asked the officer to reduce the DWI charge to a lesser charge of reckless operation. Fearing retaliation, the officer complied with the request. Both Jones and Martin were indicted in 2012 for their roles in the incident.

As part of the plea, Jones will receive a six-month suspended sentence, one year of probation, and was required to resign from his post as police chief immediately.

Martin's trial is scheduled for June 15.

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