Jack Hegarty, Demoted Former No. 2 Guy at DPS, Retires as Probe Continues Into His Alleged Ethical Violations

Jack Hegarty, the former No. 2 man at the Arizona Department of Public Safety until his demotion in October, has left the agency while still under internal investigation.

His retirement was made effective today, DPS spokesman Bart Graves tells New Times, confirming a tip we received today about the former executive staff member.

Hegarty, a friend of DPS Director Bobby Halliday and 18-year veteran of the agency, was under fire for much of last year following an employee survey by the Fraternal Order of Police that blamed him for widespread morale problems.

In October, Halliday demoted Hegarty from his leadership position and reduced his rank from lieutenant colonel to captain.

But Hegarty's problems apparently went from bad to worse after New Times published a picture of him and another officer sitting at a baseball game. (We hear the game was in San Diego, but a reader points out that it may have been in Phoenix.)

As we reported last month, DPS launched an internal investigation into whether Hegarty violated ethical rules after an allegation surfaced that he was at the game because he accepted tickets from a trucking association. New Times had received the picture -- which had appeared in the overhead screen at the game -- from a reader.

Graves says that investigation, which was farmed out to the Phoenix Police Department, is still pending. Graves did not know whether the outcome of the investigation could affect Hegarty's retirement benefits.

Other than that, Graves says DPS has no comment on Hegarty's sudden retirement.

Below is Hegarty's bio as it still appeared today on DPS' Web site:

Lieutenant Colonel Jack Hegarty began his law enforcement career 18 years ago as a Highway Patrolmen assigned to Yuma. He saw service in various assignments including patrol, SWAT, Agency Support Division staff, Training, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, and a fellowship in Washington DC at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

After completing US Navy Officer Candidate School and Naval Intelligence School, he served as a Naval Intelligence Officer and completed tours at various commands in the continental United States and abroad. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Arizona.

If Hegarty's looking for a new job -- well, we hear he's pretty tight with the trucking industry.

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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.