PORT ARTHUR - The arbitration hearing for former Port Arthur Police Department detective Mickey Sterling who was fired in June started this morning.
Tom Barbee with Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas said Sterling was terminated for “insubordination” and “untruthfulness.”
During arbitration hearings, the arbitrator can decide to lessen the officer’s punishment and possibly give the officer his job back.
The first witness was Port Arthur Police officer Elie Van Horn who wrote an affidavit in February singling out Sterling and other officers.
In the affidavit he wrote the officers were violating the Texas Penal Code for obstruction or retaliation, failure to report a felony, misuse of official information and official oppression.
He said he wrote the affidavit for integrity reasons in February and met with the District Attorney’s office.
During testimony, he accused Sterling of double dipping during work with a police escort service.
He said he felt like Sterling was threatening him ever since he filed the affidavit by posting threats on social media.
During Cross examination, Sterling's attorney, Rob Thomas argued that Van Horn had no evidence with his allegations.
He said Sterling was investigated for double dipping but there were no findings.
The next witness who testified was Carol Gauthier. She said Sergeant Scott Gaspard and Mickey Sterling were investigating her missing husband whose truck was found at the top of the rainbow bridge.
She also testified that Sterling was dating an acquaintance of hers named Angela Aschcraft at the time of the investigation.
She said Aschcraft told her Sterling would perform background checks to get information on her ex-boyfriends and husband.
She explained Aschcraft broke up with Sterling and said she would consider getting back together with him if he searched Gauthier’s phone to make sure there were no text messages with her named linked to Sergeant Gaspard or a psychic who was involved in the case.
She claimed Port Arthur Police officers executed a search warrant on her home and took all the cellphones in her house.
Sterling’s lawyer said the allegations are all hearsay and an "attack" on sterling's character.
The hearing will take place again tomorrow at 9 a.m.
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