City documents shed light on investigation into Nacogdoches police chief

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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) – Newly obtained documents show former Nacogdoches Police Chief Jim Sevey was under investigation for personal use of city property.

Nacogdoches City Council reached a separation agreement with Sevey on May 17. As part of the deal, the city pays Sevey’s salary and covers health insurance for him and his wife for six months.

Nacogdoches attorney Sean Hightower obtained documents through an open records request for “all complaints, investigation reports, disciplinary reports and/or termination agreements involving Jim Sevey from January 1, 2020 through May 19, 2022”.

“I knew there had to be more information that went unpublished, which is not uncommon,” Hightower said. “In a government that compiles a lot of this information, you’re not going to report it publicly because there are agreements not to.”

The returned request shows an investigation dating back to Jan. 30 with memos and statements from members of the police department regarding Sevey making personal purchases from his personal Amazon account, using the city’s shopping card. Most of the purchases were for tools, and department members said they saw Sevey walking back and forth from the Criminal Investigation Division’s storage closet with various tools in hand.

“It was common knowledge in all segments of the department that Amazon packages arrived almost daily for Sevey,” one staff member wrote. “…It started to become very clear that some of these items were related to woodworking or a hobby.”

Another memo says Sevey purchased boots from the same Amazon account, saying he was at a crime scene and stepped into a type of chemical that destroyed his boots and “went down to the socks. The memo says he later told someone else that he bought the boots for an officer and they were given out, but forgot who that officer was.

Sevey was placed on paid leave on April 27.

“The only allegations are that the theft took place,” Hightower said. “In Texas, if you steal money, of course it’s an offense, but it’s actually a separate offense if you use a debit or credit card to steal that money. It’s a felony in Texas. Texas, whatever the value.

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