Department Covers Up Cop’s Sexual Contact With Under Age Girl, He Gets Re-Hired

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A police officer’s details of sexual contact with an under age girl has been omitted from his file.

A police officer says he would not have had sex with a minor, had she not “lead him on.”

Ironically, he also says he has genuine feelings for this girl.

Officer Kevin Shadwick, 44, further claims he thought her parents approved of the relationship and was surprised when they filed a complaint against him.

His wife of more than 20 years filed for divorce after the charges were revealed.

The cop’s downfall began in July 2013, when the girl’s mother complained about his sexually errant ways to his then employer the Ringgold Police Department.

When his superior Bilbrey confronted him, Shadwick admitted that the accuser was correct.

The indicted cop had been with the department for seven years at the time.

This is when his supervisor decided not to add the complaint to Shadwick’s personal file.

He also gave the policeman the choice to either resign or go through an investigation.

The embarrassed cop decided to go with the first option.

Bilbrey’s only action that would give a future employer some indication of Shadwick’s disturbing past was a memo, which said he would not recommend the former Ringgold Police Department employee to someone else.

In his resignation letter Shadwick wrote that he wanted some time off with his family.

Following this he would try for a job with the Georgia State Patrol.

In February 2014, a former colleague decided to hire Shadwick for the city of Fort Oglethorpe – Chief David Eubanks did not make any reference checks.

Without any information about the complaint there was no way that the chief would have known that the man he was adding to the department’s payroll was not the ideal candidate.

Eubanks maintains without explicit mention on file, he should have been informed by Shadwick’s previous supervisor of his blemished reputation.

If anything, he says, Bilbrey could have at least picked up the phone.

Soon after Shadwick began his new job, his supervisor learnt that an FBI inquiry was under way for the new employee. This is when, Eubanks says, he learnt about his sexual relationship with a minor.

According to the FBI, a criminal charge has not yet been established.

Earlier this month, Fort Oglethorpe fired Shadwick on grounds of violating department policies.

Eubanks conducted a recorded interview with Shadwick the day he was fired.

The discussion that followed was disturbing and does raise concerns about the former cop’s mental health. In the words of the chief: “it’s pretty obvious that something was wrong”.

This is when he admitted that he had another sexual encounter with the same girl when he started his new job.

He declared he really cared for the girl in the same interview. He said he realized he had feelings for her when he started a relationship with another teenager.

The pair were getting intimate when he received a text message from the first girl. He says he stopped immediately because he did not want to upset the former.

“She’s a sweet, sweet person,” he said.

In the same meeting, he also admitted that he went to see the girl’s mother after she filed the complaint. The encounter, he said, was friendly.

According to him, although distressed at first her parents settled down when Shadwick told them that he thought they were privy to the relationship.

The time and details of this case beg more questions than provide answers.

First, statements from all the parties involved are a classic case of finger-pointing and passing the buck. No one seems to be taking responsibility for what has gone wrong.

Also one has to at the nature of checks that take place in the police force to determine whether an employee is fit to serve in the department. Could it have been possible to identify Shadwick’s unsettling behavior had there been some procedure in place?

Essentially, Bilbrey extended Shadwick an unnecessary favour by not mentioning his sexual encounter on file.

This is unacceptable, because a note that says he wouldn’t recommend the cop for another job could mean any number of things. Also, this means it was at the future employer’s discretion to pay heed to the comments. What Bilbrey did was to come up with a solution that would make Shadwick someone else’s problem. While the senior cop protected Shadwick, he put the community at risk.

Even though Eubanks has made impassioned remarks about how he would not have hired Shadwick had he known, it seems a cover-up for his own shortcomings. He did not follow procedure and hence hired a cop who has admitted to cheating on his wife and romancing under age girls several years his junior.

With so many issues shrouding this case, it is alarming that the authorities have not taken more severe steps.

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