STINNETT, Texas, (KAMR/KCIT) — Former Stinnett Police Chief Jason Collier was arrested Thursday after being placed on administrative leave Wednesday. The City of Stinnett Facebook page confirmed Collier has resigned.
Hutchinson County Sheriff Blaik Kemp said Collier was arrested by the Texas Rangers and taken to the Hutchinson County Jail.
Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Cindy Barkley said on Tuesday, the Hutchinson County District Attorney’s office asked the Texas Rangers to conduct a criminal investigation into Collier.
“Collier allegedly sent a text message to the victim with a fraudulent government record attached. The document was a fraudulent marriage annulment,” said Sgt. Barkley.
Sgt. Barkley said Collier was charged with tampering with a government document with the intent to defraud, a state jail felony. She said Collier’s bond was set at $10,000.
On Tuesday, an Amarillo woman named Cecily Steinmetz posted to Facebook saying she was engaged to Collier before she learned he was married. Steinmetz’s original post has gone viral—shared tens of thousands of times, even internationally.
MyHighPlains.com spoke with Steinmetz, who alleged Collier sent her a fake annulment document.
Steinmetz said the photo of an annulment document below is from Collier, which she included in her Facebook post.
“…he was like, ‘Well, you know, I’ll get you the annulment,’ and he’s like, ‘Just hold on.’ I was like, ‘Okay, you know, let me see it then,’ and he sent that to me. And I told him, I said, ‘Well, I’m not going to take this at face value, I’m going to check it out with Potter County,'” Steinmetz said. “I did not think it was right in his position to be presenting people with a false document like that.”
The document Steinmetz provided to MyHighPlains.com claims to be filed in the 108th District Court. Judge Doug Woodburn presides over that court. We reached out and shared with him the photo of the annulment document Steinmetz claimed Collier sent to her.
“No match exists either under that name or cause number. Our cause numbers are completely different, consisting of a 0 followed by 6 numbers, starting in 7 or 8,” Judge Woodburn said via text message on Thursday. “My court is followed by the letter E. It’s a fake.”
When asked what she hoped to accomplish by posting about Collier, Steinmetz said she wanted to raise awareness locally and for Collier to be held accountable.
“I would just hope that he has learned his lesson, not to deceive people like that. I was also apt to believe him about everything due to his position. I mean, I would think that that would be a very upstanding person, and a very honest person. And that is how he presented himself. And I would just hope that this doesn’t happen to any other women in the future. Just the lies and promising things that are never going to happen. There’s just no reason to drag people and their children into that,” Steinmetz added.
Collier was placed on administrative leave on Wednesday while the City of Stinnett investigates possible violations of city employment policy.
In a statement Wednesday, Stinnett City Manager Durk Downs said, “The City of Stinnett is aware of the current situation surrounding the Chief of Police Jason Collier. The city is taking this seriously and will be looking into any violations of city policy. As per city policy, we will refrain from commenting on any personal issues of personnel in a public forum.”
Stinnett Mayor Colin Locke said Wednesday night, “There’s possible violation of city policy,” though he did not want to further expand on the city’s statement.
Thursday evening, Downs posted another statement to the city’s Facebook page saying, “Chief of Police Jason Collier resigned his position effective immediately with the City of Stinnett. The City has accepted his resignation.”
MyHighPlains.com has been in touch with Collier Wednesday and Thursday requesting comment. We have not received it at this time.
Collier, who previously worked as a detective with the Pampa Police Department, was awarded the Medal of Valor by the State of Texas in 2016 for helping to save the life of Sgt. Houston Gass. Collier and three other officers were awarded for their quick thinking in getting Sgt. Gass to safety after he was shot in the face during a standoff.