Fired SAPD officers accused of sex on duty lose bids to win back jobs
Chief McManus: 'Certain things that we just can't tolerate'
SAN ANTONIO – Two San Antonio Police Department officers fired in 2016 after an internal affairs investigation determined they engaged in sexual misconduct with one another while on duty will not get their jobs back after third-party arbitrators in separate rulings upheld their indefinite suspensions.
Officer Eman Fondren, a four-year veteran of the department, and Officer Rebecca Martinez, who had served in the department since 2010, were both terminated in April 2016.
SAPD records confirm Martinez's indefinite suspension was upheld in March, while a senior SAPD official confirmed Thursday that Fondren's indefinite suspension was upheld earlier this month.
"We're pleased that the arbitrator upheld my original decision, which I think was the right decision," said SAPD Chief William McManus.
"I mean, you do those kinds of things on duty, you take your chances," he said.
The internal affairs investigation sprouted in January 2016 after Fondren's then-wife provided investigators 160 pages of text messages between the two officers, who both worked the overnight shift for the east patrol.
The messages described sordid sexual activity and included explicit photos shared between the two officers.
Fondren's former wife, who has declined to be interviewed by the Defenders, was involved in a fight with Martinez while she as off-duty on Christmas 2015, according to SAPD and county court records.
According to suspension paperwork for Martinez, she showed up at the city detention facility six hours after the woman's arrest while on duty, and stood outside the woman's cell holding up her phone as if she was taking pictures of her.
The assault charge against Fondren's former wife was later dismissed, according to court records.
Martinez's suspension paperwork also indicates that the officer used her patrol laptop to twice run a background check on Fondren's then-wife, violating SAPD rules and state laws pertaining to computer crimes.
Text records show Fondren instructing Martinez how to use her patrol laptop to "freeze the dot" on her unit's GPS.
Both officers later admitted to investigators that they disabled their GPS, but only in an effort to keep Martinez's ex-boyfriend, a fellow SAPD officer assigned to the same substation, from knowing their whereabouts.
"The GPS is there for a particular reason, and that's so we know where you are for your safety," said McManus.
Internal affairs investigators used internet air cards in both officers' patrol vehicles to pinpoint their whereabouts while the GPS units were disabled.
WARNING: GRAPHIC SEXUAL DETAILS
Records show the officers met in the parking lot of a Home Depot in the 500 block of Fair Avenue while on duty in October 2015.
In a text message sent from Martinez to Fondren after the encounter she wrote: "I can't believe u put yourself out.. Drive (sic) to HD, drove to the parking lot.. Stripped, did me, came and got dressed again in 15 min. That blows my mind!".
SAPD records indicate that two days after the Home Depot incident, the officers again disabled their GPS while on duty, then met at a home off FM 78 belonging to Martinez's friend.
Records show Martinez was dispatched to a disturbance with a knife call during the alleged encounter at the home but waited almost 20 minutes to respond.
Text messages sent between the two officers later that morning show them discussing that they had accidentally left behind evidence that they had sex at the home.
"...jeez we're better than that lol," wrote Fondren.
Martinez, when confronted by investigators, described the messages as "fantasy talk" and "sexting," but denied that any sexual misconduct took place.
An attorney who represented both officers in their appeal did not respond to a call for comment Friday.
The officers could appeal the arbitrator's decision to a state district court.
A senior SAPD official said the department has not received any paperwork indicating whether either Fondren or Martinez plans to do so.
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