Former Police Officer Jason L. Laurin resigned under pressure in November after he was caught in an extramarital affair while on duty and then lied about it to his superiors, according to records in his disciplinary file.
Laurin had lied about other incidents during his 11½-year career and had a record of "progressive discipline" that included a reprimand and a suspension without pay in 2008, the records show.
In 2002, 2006, 2008 and 2009, Laurin was disciplined for using his police cell phone for personal calls and texts - several hundred in all, many of them sexual in nature and made while he was on duty. The 2008 investigation determined he fabricated one call to establish an alibi.
His conduct "has certainly brought this department into disrepute," an internal investigative report concluded Nov. 18, 2009.
But, when Police Chief Joe Collins issued a short press release about the resignation on Nov. 24, it said Laurin’s departure "was related to personal matters." The release said Laurin had been investigated for "a violation of work rules," and the investigation "was not related to any criminal activity and the safety of the community was never compromised."
The announcement did not mention specific misconduct or lying because, as it turned out, the Police Department had agreed to keep the details secret unless forced by legal action to share them. Even then, in response to a formal Open Records request submitted by the Herald Times Reporter, the city denied access to Laurin’s records on Dec. 30, citing protection of employee reputation, morale and the need to preserve the city’s ability to recruit quality candidates.
Faced with a possible Open Records lawsuit, the city reversed its position and made Laurin’s personnel files available to the HTR last month. Those records revealed Laurin’s disciplinary history and the events that forced his resignation, including his efforts to disguise and deny the dozens of daylight trysts that occurred once or twice a week for almost a year, sometimes while he was on duty.