Topeka police didn’t tell public that an officer was criminally charged
Morrison joined the Topeka Police Department in October 2017 and was sworn in as an officer in April 2018.
The girl’s father flagged down Topeka police on Sept. 14, 2019, after which Lt. John Sturgeon of the professional standards unit investigated by interviewing Morrison, the girl, the father, the girl’s co-workers and leaders at the church where Morrison volunteered with a youth group.
Police also had records of Morrison logging into law enforcement databases and accessing confidential information.
Topeka police determined Morrison had violated department policy and terminated him effective July 15, 2020 — eight months after he was criminally charged.
Spiker said Morrison was immediately placed on administrative leave once the city became aware of the complaint.
“Due process is important to the city, and as such, the internal administrative process did not conclude until after the criminal investigation was concluded,” she said.
Topeka police requested that the Kansas Bureau of Investigation conduct the criminal investigation. The KBI ultimately presented materials to local prosecutors.
Topeka police never informed the public that one of its officers had been charged.
“The Topeka Police Department is not a charging entity,” Spiker said to explain why the department didn’t issue a news release.
Prosecution, then diversion, in Shawnee County court system
DA Mike Kagay laughs and gladly tried to white wash and cover up the extremely innapropriate behavior of a Topeka Police officer. What else has he covered up and treated with “Kid Gloves”? Would kagay have been so eager to let this cop off so easily if it had been HIS daughter?
The Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office filed two misdemeanor criminal charges against Morrison on Nov. 8, 2019.
The charges were official misconduct and violating restrictions on dissemination of criminal history record information. Prosecutors alleged Morrison illegally used confidential law enforcement information for his personal benefit.
“Charges were filed because the investigation revealed that former officer Morrison engaged in illegal conduct,” District Attorney Mike Kagay said.
Morrison’s attorney, Thomas Lemon, attempted to get the charges dismissed. Judge Penny Moylan denied the motions. Lemon didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Shawnee County District Court records show the case had been scheduled to go to trial in March 2020, but was delayed amid the onset of COVID-19 pandemic. The case was again scheduled to go to trial in April 2021, then June 2021, but it never did go to trial.
Instead, Morrison and the DA’s office on June 23, 2021, filed a pre-trial diversion agreement offered upon his “accepting responsibility for these acts as alleged.” However, he didn’t have to admit guilt.
“Mr. Morrison applied for diversion after charges were filed and it was determined he was qualified,” Kagay said. “I can offer no other specifics on the case.”
Morrison had to pay a $150 diversion fee, a $10 Crime Stoppers fee and $158 in court costs.
The charges were subsequently dismissed on May 12, 2022. The case could be eligible for expungement, meaning all court records would no longer be public.
Oversight agency KSCPOST decertified Officer Morrison
The Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training, which certifies law enforcement officers, opened an investigation after Morrison got a diversion.
After a hearing in April, the commission in May revoked Morrison’s law enforcement certification, which means he can no longer work as a law enforcement officer in Kansas. The order was publicly posted online.
The order was signed by Herman Jones, who chaired the hearing panel. Jones is the outgoing superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol and the former Shawnee County sheriff, who faces his own pending litigation alleging sexual harassment and unconstitutional practices during traffic stops.
The commission concluded that “clear and convincing evidence to show” Morrison committed the two misdemeanor crimes.
“Morrison engaged in unprofessional conduct, in conduct that constitutes a misdemeanor which reflects on his integrity and competence as a law enforcement officer, and he failed to maintain the good moral character, warranting the public trust, that is required of his certification,” the revocation order states.
Father caught Topeka police officer with underage daughter. Here’s what happened next.
A father’s complaint to the Topeka Police Department about an officer’s relationship with his teenage daughter has resulted in the officer losing his job and the privilege to work in law enforcement in Kansas.
Former Topeka Police Department officer Timothy Morrison was decertified last month by the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training, which detailed allegations uncovered during an internal investigation that resulted in criminal charges.
The father complained that Morrison had been “sneaking around” with his 17-year-old daughter, whom he caught “practically sitting in his lap” in Morrison’s pickup truck. At the time, Morrison was either 38 or 39 years old, according to court records.
“The actions of this former employee are dishonorable, and should not reflect on the hardworking and dedicated men and women of the Topeka Police Department,” city spokesperson Gretchen Spiker said. “The City of Topeka and the Topeka Police Department cooperated fully with KSCPOST on this matter.”
What did Officer Timothy Morrison do?
Investigators determined the relationship began in August 2019 when Morrison met the girl at the mall, where they both worked. Morrison had a side job as a security guard where he wore his police uniform. Spiker said the department was aware of the off-duty job and that he was allowed to wear his uniform.
The commission concluded that, “during his employment with TPD, Morrison misused his position to establish a social, physical, intimate, emotional and arguably romantic relationship with (the girl).” A Shawnee County judge wrote that internal investigators, after interviewing the girl, concluded they were “engaged in a romantic relationship.”
The relationship involved the following:
- Near-daily communication by phone, text and Snapchat.
- Wake-up calls from Morrison to the girl.
- Sending each other photos, including photos of Morrison while on duty, in uniform and in his patrol vehicle.
- At least four social visits.
- A time when Morrison picked up the girl from home to take her out for breakfast.
- Morrison twice picked the girl up from school for lunch.
- Morrison once delivered food to the girl at her home while he was on duty.
- Morrison once picked up the girl after she contacted him after midnight, saying she was thinking about running away from home. He took her to a Casey’s, bought her pizza, and spent a couple hours with her before taking her home. Despite considering her to have run away from home, he did not report it to his supervisors or the girl’s family because he wanted to “gain (her) trust and develop his relationship with her.”
- At least one kiss on the cheek and several hugs, but both Morrison and the girl denied that their relationship was sexual.
- Investigators believed Morrison was hiding aspects of their relationship because he texted the girl after the complaint: “I’m going to tell them I was taking you to breakfast. That work for you?”
- Used his access to search for police records on the girl, her father and her ex-boyfriend. He provided the girl with confidential information about the juvenile record of the ex-boyfriend and about her own case, where she was the victim of an alleged rape by her uncle.
- Morrison did not attempt to take the girl to church or seek guidance from church leaders, despite telling investigators that he viewed himself as a friend and mentor, comparing it to his church youth group volunteering. The commission wrote that Morrison’s “behavior with (the girl), particularly his repeated, unsupervised one-on-one interactions with (her), were not consistent with the church’s youth group guidelines for adult volunteers.”