FRANKLIN — A Franklin deputy police chief who gave confidential details about an investigation into a GPS device found on a car owned by Ashley Judd has been demoted after police discovered he'd been routinely sharing information with a Nashville TV reporter.
Franklin Chief David Rahinsky punished longtime former deputy chief Mike Jordan by reducing his rank to lieutenant, suspending him without pay for five days and putting him on a year's probation after an internal investigation last month turned up numerous e-mails between Jordan and WKRN-TV reporter Andy Cordan, records show. Jordan is a Franklin police veteran with more than 30 years' of experience.
Rahinsky cited Jordan for breaking six city policies, including a city ban on the release of confidential information that could potentially jeopardize an investigation or the release of information that could place victims, witnesses and others at risk, among other violations.
"Jordan's improper sharing of the information with that reporter, and the reporter's subsequent news story, allowed the public and key persons of interest to become prematurely aware of investigative information, information that should have been maintained as confidential," said Sgt. Charlie Warner, police spokesman. "Attorneys to people we wanted to question became prematurely involved. We believe, in large part, that this was because of what they saw in the news."
The demotion caps months' of negative attention for Franklin Police from separate incidents. In late January, Franklin Officer Brent Rose began a five-day unpaid suspension after being discovered in November by fellow Franklin officers passed out behind the wheel of a car. Rose, who officers said reeked of alcohol, was not arrested.
Rahinsky said his confidence in both Rose and Jordan was shaken.
"I'm embarrassed, I'm disappointed and I'm hurt, and I'm sure those feelings are shared throughout this department," Rahinsky said.
Franklin officials responded Tuesday to an open records request for the results of a Jan. 21 internal disciplinary hearing. Rahinsky cited Jordan for releasing numerous e-mails, including juvenile names, dates of birth, as well as information about ongoing criminal investigations to Cordan.
Police were tipped off after receiving an e-mail Nov. 11 from Cordan requesting information from police spokesman Sgt. Charlie Warner about the GPS device found on Ashley Judd's car on Nov. 8. Cordan's e-mail to Warner used language taken verbatim from police documents.
"It appeared to be a clip and paste from an internal document that Andy Cordan was using in asking for information," Rahinsky said in during the hearing.
Records show Jordan had e-mailed Cordan on Nov. 11 telling him about the GPS device as well as three other investigations. Police also found numerous other e-mails going back several months between the two where Jordan shared information with Cordan.
Jordan did not respond to request for comment for this story.