Hot Mess at the DPS: A Party-Loving DPS Pilot Was Fired After His Bitter Ex-Lover Complains to Her Daddy — Now the Agency's Director

About two years ago, the Arizona Department of Public Safety investigated whether one of its officers had a photo on his computer that depicted a sexual assault in his house — by a bulldog.

The alleged incident, much talked about among DPS employees and investigators, is said to have occurred at a party thrown in 2004 or 2005 by former DPS pilot Geoff Jacobs.

Story goes: A woman in a miniskirt passes out at the officer's house after somebody slips her roofies. Guests are drinking. Somebody notices she doesn't have panties on and smears her nether regions with peanut butter. Porter, one of Jacobs' two English bulldogs (he farms the canines out for stud service), then begins licking her down there. Another somebody takes a picture.

The officer wasn't accused of participating directly in the peanut butter incident — just of telling the story repeatedly. No picture backing up the tale ever turned up, either.

But Jacobs admitted to investigators that something untoward, though innocent, did happen with Porter (more on that later). In his version, he thought somebody might have slipped him Rohypnol, too.

At the time of the party, Jacobs had been working for the DPS for about three years as a motorcycle officer and a part-time pilot (the East Valley Tribune wrote about his piloting exploits in September 2008). Later, his duties would also include work as a photo-enforcement specialist.

In fact, he's the guy who arrested the state Republican Party's executive director, Brett Mecum, at the GOP's Phoenix headquarters in May 2009 after Mecum was pictured speeding excessively on a freeway.

By that time, Jacobs already was infamous among gossiping DPS officers and administrators for the dog-and-peanut-butter tale and for other strange, sexually charged rumors about which Jacobs was grilled officially in late 2008 and early 2009.

The reason: An ex-girlfriend began talking about Jacobs' alleged exploits days after a bitter breakup.

But she wasn't just any old ex. She was Ami Halliday — daughter of Robert Halliday, a 35-year veteran DPS officer who had retired in 2008 at the rank of commander and who still had plenty of friends at the agency.

Robert Halliday's now director of the DPS, appointed out of retirement in January by Governor Jan Brewer. He's known as a good cop —though something of a hothead.

Halliday and Jacobs got along fine during the two months that the pilot dated his daughter. They had lunch at least once, and Jacobs claims Halliday even bought him a gift: a small, crystal airplane tchotchke.

A divorced mother and former bank worker, Ami Halliday's well versed in real-life drama — and so is her family, for that matter.

She was involved in two of seven incidents of suspected domestic violence that police logged from 1997 to 2006 at her father's Glendale home. In 1998, for instance, she tried to have her brother charged with assault for throwing a piece of cheese at her.

"The cheese struck Ami in the lower right side of her back. [A Glendale officer] examined Ami's back," an incident report reads. Her brother described it as a "small chunk."

Both parties agreed that after her brother threw the cheese, Ami slammed him in the head with a phone they'd ripped off the wall. The case against him was submitted to prosecutors, who declined to pursue it because of "no likelihood of conviction."

Ami Halliday and Jacobs met at a party at the home of her aunt, Kristi Johnson, who's also a DPS officer.

On November 4, 2008, after a few weeks of what was described in official reports as rough sex and good times, the couple had an argument about who would pay for a sex toy. The next day, they broke up.

A few weeks later, the DPS started investigating Jacobs for the way he'd treated Robert Halliday's daughter.

The investigation began because now-Director Halliday was disturbed about bruises Jacobs allegedly inflicted on his daughter's arms and legs the day before the breakup. When Halliday and his daughter spoke, Ami told him things, according to official reports, that would outrage any father:

Jacobs had punched her, hurt her during sex, and taken X-rated pictures and video of her without her consent. She told him of bizarre things that happened at his parties, which she claimed to have heard about secondhand.

Rather than immediately call the Glendale Police Department, in whose jurisdiction the alleged domestic violence occurred, and have Ami's bruises documented by forensics experts — as is standard procedure in such situations — the veteran law officer took pictures of her himself. He then referred the matter to his agency's internal affairs office.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.