Phil Roberts, the Phoenix Police Sergeant Who Dubbed Phoenix the Nation's Kidnapping Capital, Fired By Police Chief
Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia has fired Sergeant Phil Roberts.
Garcia ended Roberts' nearly 30-year career with the Phoenix Police Department on January 25, about three months after an in-house disciplinary review board recommended the sergeant be terminated.
See also: A Review Board Recommends Firing PPD Sergeant Phil Roberts for Rampant Allegations Against Fellow Cops See also: Self-Proclaimed Whistleblower Phil Roberts Wasn't Retaliated Against by the Phoenix Police Department, Feds Say See also: Roberts Exaggerated the PPD's Kidnapping Statistics, Then Tried to Debunk His Own Numbers
Phil Roberts, former Phoenix Police Sergeant
Roberts termination came after an an internal affairs investigation, completed on October 12, revealed that during a yearlong memo writing campaign, Roberts lobbed numerous false allegations against fellow cops and city officials, failed to notify his superiors "when releasing information pertinent to the department" and used city resources and his position "for personal benefit or gain."
Roberts started writing memos in 2009, and most contained scathing allegations of policy violations and criminal acts against city and police officials, including former Police Chief Jack Harris, former Mayor Phil Gordon, his former supervisor Lieutenant Lauri Burgett and internal affairs investigators.
A series of internal, state, and federal investigations also revealed there was little truth in the multitude of allegations that Roberts fired off through some 500 pages in the more than 40 memos he wrote between August 2009 and August 2010.
His most notable accusation came in 2010 when he accused Gordon, Harris, and others of conspiring to defraud the federal government of grant money in 2009 by exaggerating the number of home invasions and kidnappings tied to drug and human smuggling.
That was debunked when Phoenix police officials finally went back and combed through their kidnapping-related statistics and discovered there were more cases than originally believed.
Roberts fancied himself a whistleblower who claimed he was exposing "corruption and fraud." And, later, he described himself in many of his memos -- which were sent to police officials, state and federal law enforcement agencies and ended up shared with media outlets -- as a victim of retaliation.
But he wasn't a victim, according to the U.S. Office of Inspector General which investigated Roberts' retaliation complaints.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.