CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) — A fired Cedar Park police officer is waiting to hear if he will get his job back after the department fired him last year.
Officer James Arrick had been spending time with a Jordan Benford, who was being investigated for sexual assault. Arrick is accused of lying to investigators when questioned about it. Benford is now in jail on multiple sexual assault charges.
Arrick sat in front of attorneys, police, and an arbitrator Tuesday to stand up for himself during a hearing on his job status.
“Officer Arrick deserves his job back,” his attorney Robert McCabe said. “He wants to be a police officer. He’s always wanted to be a police officer.”
The investigation into Arrick started when a Cedar Park detective who was investigating Benford for sexual assault found pictures of Arrick on Benford’s cell phone of the two spending time together.
During the hearing Tuesday, Arrick said, “We went paddle-boarding in the morning. We went and had lunch.”
Investigators say Arrick also looked up police records on Benford without a lawful reason to do so.
The police department’s internal affairs questioned Arrick and fired him in September for being dishonest.
Attorneys for the city extensively questioned Arrick during the hearing Tuesday.
“So far as we can tell, through your answers today and what is in your statements, you had no legitimate law enforcement reason to even access Mr. Benford on July 1st. Is that right?” Bettye Lynn asked.
“I don’t know,” Arrick responded.
Arrick says he didn’t know Benford was accused of sexual assault when they were hanging out and he looked up the records once he found out.
“Our take on it is this: Cedar Park was embarrassed that they found him fraternizing with Jordan Benford, and they were targeting him for a reason to terminate him,” said McCabe.
But the city’s attorney and police investigators say Arrick’s stories were inconsistent.
Both sides will now submit a final written brief to the arbitrator. It could be more than a month before she makes a final decision on whether Arrick gets his job back.