A former local state trooper who pleaded guilty in state district court this week to two felony counts of malfeasance in office took to Facebook on Friday and said he was indeed guilty of doing something that he said “hundreds, if not thousands of troopers” have also done.
Jimmy Allen Rogers, 35, resigned from Troop D in 2015 but was arrested in April as part of an investigation into the Louisiana State Police’s participation in the LACE program in July and August of 2015.
Rogers was arrested on one count of malfeasance in office and 74 counts of injuring public records. He admitted he falsified times on traffic tickets he wrote during overtime shifts.
Judge Guy Bradberry on Thursday sentenced Rogers to three years of probation. He was also required to pay $2,500 in restitution.
When an internal investigation of the LACE program by state police did not result in an arrest of Rogers, the Metropolitan Crime Commission, a nonprofit organization dedicated to exposing public corruption, gave a copy of the report to Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier.
DeRosier said that although investigators believed Rogers falsified times on at least 74 tickets, he said there was “no evidence of any kind that he did not work a full shift.”
Unlike some law enforcement agencies, state police does not track movements of its troopers through GPS and instead relies on troopers to radio in their whereabouts.
In a Facebook post Friday on his personal page that was shared more than 380 times within two hours of being posted, Rogers had plenty to say about his arrest, the LACE program, fellow law enforcement officers and the District Attorney’s Office.
The LACE program has become a somewhat controversial traffic-ticket program that is intended to help raise money for district attorneys, public defenders and other law enforcement agencies.
In his post, Rogers said, in part: “My hope is not that you will feel sorry for me, but that this would spark an outcry for justice, an outcry for a real investigation. That investigation would reveal that Jimmy Rogers is only one of hundreds, if not thousands of troopers who have done the same thing. The public is tired of dirty cops, dirty prosecutors, a dirty system and, specifically, a dirty state police office! Ladies and gentlemen, so am I!”
The post went on to say: “I am guilty. I am guilty of participating in what is, in my opinion, a gross violation of your constitutional rights. You are being taxed without your knowledge. The District Attorney’s office dangles a few dollars in front of police officers and in turn those officers write a required amount of tickets. John DeRosier and his office have made millions of dollars on the backs of hard working, innocent Americans. I never thought of overtime this way until I married my beautiful wife only a year ago. I’ve listened to her stories of struggle as a single mother. How one ticket could literally bury a person who struggles in poverty to feed their children. They are then forced to choose between paying a ticket or a light bill. Lose your lights or be buried under tickets that continue to pile up until you have no other recourse than to sit in jail or make payments for year. Why, you ask? For money!!!”
Rogers said in his post that he knew he was “risking a backlash from the DA, his brothers in blue, and the system,” but that none of them were standing in line behind him to “admit their wrongdoing while I was forfeiting my rights and taking my lick!”
He said his reason for posting on Facebook was to encourage people to demand that their constitutional rights be defended.
Because of his guilty plea and sentence on the malfeasance charges, Rogers will no longer be able to work in law enforcement.