Former Grand Saline Police Chief Justin Collins faces criminal charges

Grand Saline Police Chief Resigns

GRAND SALINE - Former Grand Saline Police Chief Justin Collins resigned his position on Wednesday morning. The resignation comes one day after he turned himself in to the Van Zandt County Jail.

"He was booked in and booked out and then he resigned,” said Grand Saline City Administrator, Tully Davidson. “He is no longer on the city payroll, we have all our equipment back."

Collins is facing two charges. One charge of Theft by a Public Servant and another of Abuse of Official Capacity.

Court documents show both charges stem from the use of city money to pay for unauthorized meals back in 2015, while Collins and another officer attended a training seminar.

According to the indictment, he purchased meals for his wife and the other officer's wife, on several occasions. It cost the city more than $100 and less than $750.

"They told the City of Grand Saline that the meal wasn't for them and their wives, it was for them and other police officers," said Grand Saline City Attorney, Joel Elliot.

Elliot says the investigation was launched after a formal complaint was filed to the city on behalf of all the grand saline police officers. It cited theft, official oppression, and misuse of city property, among other things.

"For criminal investigation, we turned it over to the district attorney who turned it over the attorney general's office," said Elliot.

City council will discuss how to move forward during next week's meeting. For now, Officer Jason Burns has taken over the position.

 "He's acted as such, he has done everything he has been asked to do,” said Elliot. “The police force has asked everything that they have been asked to do."  

Collins declined to make a comment but did make a Facebook post that read in part: “"What I did was wrong. Deceit made it even worse. This poor decision by myself has affected me, my family, and this community."

He went on to say: " I am sorry for violating your trust. I must be held accountable for my actions so I will be entering a plea of guilty to this charge as soon as possible.

© 2017 KYTX-TV


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