Clinton cop fired for viewing hard-core porn in squad car

2009-10-13T13:45:00Z Clinton cop fired for viewing hard-core porn in squad carBy Edith Brady-Lunny | eblunny@pantagraph.com pantagraph.com

CLINTON -- A Clinton police officer was fired Tuesday for violating department rules by viewing hard core pornography on his squad car computer.

The Clinton Police and Fire Commission voted unanimously to terminate Billy E. Hurst from his post as patrol officer. The vote came after about four hours of deliberation by the three-member board.

Charges were filed against Hurst in January by Clinton Police Chief Michael Reidy. The chief said Tuesday he was pleased with the outcome of a situation that gave a black eye to the small town department.

Reidy said Hurst, who completed his shift at 6 a.m. Tuesday, was "unfit to be a police officer by our standards."

Hurst's attorney, Shane Voyles of the Policemen's Benevolent Labor Committee, could not be reached for comment.

According to the commission's ruling, Hurst broke department rules by viewing a total of 27 hours of what was described as hard core pornography on city-owned mobile data terminals. Through his actions, Hurst failed to conduct his official life in a manner that will inspire public confidence and trust, the commission said in its ruling.

Neither Hurst nor his lawyer attended the hearing. In a motion filed earlier by Hurst, he argued that city officials violated eavesdropping laws by collecting the information from the squad car terminal. The commission dismissed that argument in its ruling.

The 15-year veteran of the Clinton department was disciplined in 2003 for exposing himself in a Clinton bar.

The pornography allegations were raised in late 2008 after viruses were detected on several city computers. Monitoring devices traced the pornography to computers used by Hurst, Reidy said.

After charges were filed, Hurst was removed from his position as juvenile officer.

No criminal charges were filed against the officer related to the pornography allegations. He may appeal his dismissal to the local circuit court.

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