Missouri Sheriff Arrested for Letting Love Interest Pretend to Be a Cop, Bringing a Minor to Jail

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Texas County, Missouri, Sheriff James Sigman, 48, and Chief Deputy Jennifer Tomaszewski, 38, were arrested on eight charges Wednesday. Greene County and Shannon County Jails

A county sheriff in Missouri and his chief deputy face a bevy of charges after the sheriff allegedly allowed the deputy, who he was reportedly romantically involved with, to act as a cop before she was certified to do. The deputy is also accused of repeatedly bringing a minor with her to work at the county jail.

Texas County Sheriff James Sigman, 48, and Chief Deputy Jennifer Tomaszewski, 38, were arrested Wednesday. According to Missouri State Highway Patrol, their charges include felony assault, felony endangerment of a child, felony misuse of a weapon, misdemeanor impersonation and misuse of official information by a public servant. The state agency led the investigation.

Court documents allege that before Tomaszewski had completed the Sheriff's Academy, Sigman allowed her to carry out the duties of a law enforcement officer, including wearing a uniform similar to that of other deputies and carrying a Glock pistol and AR-15 owned by the sheriff's office.

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Texas County, Missouri, Sheriff James Sigman, 48, and Chief Deputy Jennifer Tomaszewski, 38, were arrested on eight charges Wednesday. Greene County and Shannon County Jails

Tomaszewski was hired by the Texas County Sheriff's Department in 2016 to work at the county's jail. Court records show that she didn't receive a license to be a peace officer until May 2018, and became the chief deputy immediately after.

During her time working at the jail, Tomaszewski is alleged to have brought a girl there several times, using it as a de facto "child care facility." The girl allegedly helped serve inmates food in one instance and was exposed to sexually violent criminals while at the jail. Sigman allegedly scratched the girl's name out of a log book, angry that she had been there.

Authorities allege that before she became a deputy, Tomaszewski participated in "undercover operations" where she would act as "bait," and participate in ride alongs and execute search warrants.

During one 2017 search described in a probable cause statement, authorities allege that Tomaszewski pointed a weapon at bystanders across the street from the execution of the search warrant. One of the people was a one-year-old child. She allegedly confronted them for filming the scene which she "mistakenly thought they weren't allowed to do." During the incident, she allegedly took a cell phone from a bystander and pointed a gun at the back of one man who was lying on the ground.

Tomaszewski is also accused of threatening one jail inmate, telling her she was "going to put a f**king bullet in your head," and assaulting another, beating a mentally deficient inmate with her elbows after he was unconscious.

Sigman is accused of being aware or present during many of the incidents and not intervening.

The arrest comes after a year where more than 40 employees have quit or been fired from the sheriff's office, according to the Houston Herald.

The county's coroner, Marie Lasater, stepped into the sheriff's role after Sigman's arrest. A Licking, Missouri, resident, she is also the owner and publisher of the town's newspaper The Licking News, whose tagline is "the only paper to give a 'lick' about Licking."

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Missouri Sheriff Arrested for Letting Love Interest Pretend to Be a Cop, Bringing a Minor to Jail | U.S.