Goodyear police Chief Jerry Geier and three other department officials are on paid administrative leave while the city investigates allegations of misconduct.
Deputy Chief Justin Hughes is one of the other three, along with Officer Kyle Cluff and Administrative Services Manager Susan Petty, Goodyear Digital Communications Director Tammy Vo confirmed.
“Placing these employees on leave is important in order to provide the neutral environment and support needed while outside counsel reviews the situation,” a city statement reads. “The city of Goodyear values the public’s trust and takes these types of accusations seriously, and is committed to conducting a thorough review.”
Details of the allegations are not known.
Ms. Vo said another deputy chief will take the lead while Mr. Geier and Mr. Hughes are on leave.
The Daily Independent submitted a records request Oct. 22 for all releasable documents pertaining to the investigations of the four Goodyear officials.
A city clerk specialist confirmed Oct. 23 that they have received the request, but cannot produce any documents at this time.
"The Peace Officers Bill of Rights, which was adopted by the state legislature, protects information about disciplinary investigations of police officers from being disclosed until the investigation has been completed or the employer has discontinued the investigation," an email states. "Once the investigation has been either completed or discontinued, the records you requested will be produced."
According to the agency's 2018 Annual Report, the Goodyear Police Department's Professional Standards Unit investigated 173 complaints against employees in 2018. Only 13 incidents resulted in a full Administrative Investigation, compared to 14 in the prior year.
According to the report, the Goodyear Police Department has 150 police personnel — 110 of whom are sworn officials — and operated on a budget of nearly $23 million in 2018.
The agency continues to cover a city that is among the fastest growing in Maricopa County — with percent increases from 2010-2018 and from 2017-2018 that are within the Top 5 of Phoenix-area municipalities, according to Census Bureau figures.
Mr. Geier has been chief of the Goodyear Police Department since 2012, having served as chief of the Yuma Police Department from 2009 to 2012.
Taking over in the interim is Deputy Chief Santiago "Jimmy" Rodriguez, according to a Dec. 2, 2019 press release regarding the agency's Shop with a Cop event.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Mr. Rodriguez started his career as a sworn law enforcement officer at the Goodyear Police Department in 1998 after graduating from the Glendale Community College Law Enforcement Police Academy. He had also served as a detenion officer in Glendale for four years prior to his Goodyear career.