Porno Cop

Former Chandler cop and pornographer Ron Dible tells the naked truth.

No matter how wide his triumphs, Ron Dible will probably always be known around these parts as Porno Cop. Dible was sacked by the Chandler Police Department earlier this year when naughty photographs of himself and his wife were discovered on an adult Web site. Never one to take his lumps lying down, Dible is suing the City of Chandler for violation of his First Amendment rights. After all, Dible argues, his face doesn't appear in any of the photographs -- just what he calls "other parts of my body."

We meet at On the Border, an east Mesa bar and restaurant around the corner from Pipe City, Dible's new motorcycle shop. He's been dodging the press up 'til now, but he's finally caved in to my requests to explain why he thought he could get away with being a civil servant while also pimping his wife.

New Times: Shame on you, Ron Dible.

Ron Dible could not blend pornography and police work.
Kevin Scanlon
Ron Dible could not blend pornography and police work.

Ron Dible: The whole thing was pretty innocent. My wife, Megan, was working as a police dispatcher for Chandler PD, but what she really wanted to do was sell real estate. At that time there were a lot of news stories about adult Web sites, and one night we saw one and Megan said, "Hey, I could do that! If the money's as good as they say, it would allow me to quit the PD while I'm getting my real estate license."

NT: Your wife wanted to do Internet porn. What did you tell her?

Dible: I said, "I'll support you in this if it's really what you want to do, but we have to keep our names out of it." We did some research and found out how to do it and what kind of money was really there.

NT: And you launched a porn site.

Dible: It wasn't our site, it was a Web site out of Tucson called Dreamnet. I took the photos and submitted them, and Dreamnet posted them. You pay to see the photos, and Megan gets some of that [money].

NT: And you were a police officer at the time. Did you think that no one would cite morals issues when it was discovered you were moonlighting as a pornographer?

Dible: I still to this day don't see why I did anything wrong. The whole thing was done under the umbrella of anonymity. Dreamnet didn't know what I did for a living or my name. I tried to keep out of it.

NT: But you took the pictures!

Dible: Obviously. And I was a prop in several pictures.

NT: A prop?

Dible: Body parts -- hands, legs, stuff like that. But no part of me that would be recognized by anyone at work. I never told anyone about it, so I didn't have any problems about it at work.

NT: No one?

Dible: Well, there was a reserve officer named Jeff Smith, and his wife was wanting to do this, too. He knew I had some experience building Web sites, and he came to me and said, "What would it take to do this?"

NT: Are all the cops in town doing porno Web sites?

Dible: Hardly! Anyway, I told Jeff and his wife about the company we'd been submitting our photos to. I showed them Megan's Web site, and they ended up doing it for about a year or so themselves.

NT: Did you really think you wouldn't get caught?

Dible: I assumed that if anyone from my department did see the pictures and realize it was Megan, they wouldn't tell anyone that they had been looking at an adult Web site. But they did, and that's how it spread through the police department.

NT: And then all your colleagues were looking at pictures of your wife with no clothes on.

Dible: People at work would say, "I hear your wife has a porn Web site," and I'd always say, "If you find it, let me know!" My supervisor kept saying, "Where'd you get the money for that new swimming pool?" But the rumor slowly worked its way to Dispatch, and they don't just dispatch calls, they dispatch all the news in the PD. It exploded, and everyone in the department knew about it. One of the [female] dispatchers sent my wife an e-mail that said, "Megan, love your Web site, you're beautiful, you made my dreams come true."

NT: Wait. A female employee of the police department wrote to your wife that she'd made her dreams come true?

Dible: Well, that particular woman and her husband are swingers. And you know, there was this assumption from people on the force that we were swingers, too.

NT: That's an assumption people might make.

Dible: Still, I tried to get the Web people to take down the photos of Megan at this point, because the anonymity part was over with, and she was a little embarrassed about the pictures at this point. But we couldn't afford to buy out her contract. I came in to work the next week and the media was there. The story broke that day on the six o'clock news. By 8:30 I was under investigation for "participating in an activity that could bring discredit to city services."

NT: What did you expect?

Dible: I thought at worst they would do a "conduct unbecoming an officer" type of thing. That's a day off without pay, maximum.

NT: Ouch.

Dible: The thing is that this punishment came down from a police chief known for an adulterous affair. (In the face of allegations, the chief was cleared of any official wrongdoing. Despite an admission by the chief that "I'm not innocent," his lapse in judgment was viewed as personal.) That was my real violation, I guess: I actually had sex with my wife, instead of someone else's.

NT: What about Phoenix police officer Robert Marshall, who ran a similar Web site but was merely reprimanded when his pay-per-view venture was discovered?

Dible: That's because the Phoenix police chief is a big city chief who understands First Amendment rights. He doesn't get all ass-hurt because of media attention. If the Chandler chief of police had just said, "There's no connection between these adult pictures and this department," it would have been out of the papers the next day. But my chief was embarrassed, and he was trying to save face.

NT: Well, there's plenty to be embarrassed about. But this isn't nearly as embarrassing as the infamous Chandler Roundup of a couple years ago.

Dible: Nobody was ever brought up for charges on that, or fired for that, but it brought plenty of disservice. We were called all kind of names over that one.

NT: It's rumored that the Chandler PD was taking heat for some covered-up sex scandals at about the same time you were busted for your porn pictures.

Dible: Well, one of our sergeants, Glen Bell, was accused of fondling a suicidal female he met on a call. While on duty, in his police car. When they called him on that one, he said, "I have 20 years on the force, I'm going to just retire rather than answer your questions." Not only did they allow him to retire, they threw him a retirement party. With me, I was completely shut out of the department when they found out about the Web site.

NT: You're the only cop to get fired for being sexy?

Dible: No. There was one officer who had sexual relations with some of the teenage Explorers who were riding with him, and he was leaving phone messages for them that were sexually explicit. He got fired. The chief was taking heat from on high about all these sexual things in the department, and then my case hit. It was the perfect opportunity for the chief to say, "We won't tolerate this kind of activity from one of our own." He went to the media and told them this story about me, and then fired me because of the bad publicity my Web site was giving the department.

NT: You were a patsy.

Dible: You know, I got fired for supposedly violating policy, but one of the chief's boys was just arrested for DUI while he was driving his City of Chandler vehicle. They gave him a 30-day suspension without pay. Me, they fired. There was no way anyone could connect me with that Web site without me telling them, which I did. I told them I took the pictures, I admitted that all the body parts in the pictures were me.

NT: You were punished for telling the truth.

Dible: Well, the motto in the police world is, "You lie, you die." They say they also fired me because I tried to cover up my involvement with the Web site.

NT: Ron. So, did you wear your uniform in any of the photographs?

Dible: No. There was a photo of me on this CD that the Web site offered for sale. I'm standing there fully dressed, and there's a girl on her knees in front of me. But I wasn't wearing a police uniform.

NT: How come some people think police uniforms are sexy?

Dible: I don't know. I never had any groupies.

NT: I hear you offered to settle out of court.

Dible: I said that I would waive all claims of any civil suits against the City of Chandler and accept the charge of "conduct unbecoming" and its penalty if they'd reinstate me on the force. And they refused. So now we're trying to settle for $1.5 million. And I have a new motorcycle shop.

NT: You're not going to become a porn star.

Dible: No way. Anyhow, the Web site took my wife's pictures down after I got fired. Good timing, huh?

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