A Carroll police officer resigned in July under the threat of termination for violating the department’s code of conduct, according to Police Chief Brad Burke.
Jacob Smith, 26, resigned July 17 amid a Daily Times Herald investigation into his relationships with teenage girls.
The department launched its own investigation into Smith’s conduct, but it’s unclear what that investigation yielded.
Burke said Smith resigned because he was accused of violating the department’s standard of conduct that says:
“Members and employees shall conduct their private and professional lives in such a manner as to reflect credit on the department and city of Carroll.”
City officials declined to be more specific about what Smith allegedly did to violate department policy. He is not accused of committing a crime.
A recent change to state law makes the “documented reasons and rationale for the resignation in lieu of termination” a public record.
The Times Herald’s investigation found that Smith was fired from his first police job in eastern Iowa in 2015, in part, because he sent inappropriate private messages on Facebook to a 16-year-old girl while he was on duty. Following his hire in Carroll, a 17-year-old girl moved into his house while she still attended high school, and she was later accused of defacing the car of a 19-year-old woman with whom Smith had a brief relationship.
The Times Herald published an article about those relationships the day after Smith resigned.
Smith accused the Times Herald of libel in a pending lawsuit he filed against the newspaper the day after the article was published.
“(Smith’s) reputation has been destroyed, his character and integrity forever castigated in the public eye, and his employability as a law officer severely damaged if not totally ruined,” the lawsuit says.
Carroll City Council members have said they will review the hiring process for police officers, and at least one said it was a “mistake” to hire Smith.