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May 22, 2014

Charges dropped against former Jasper PD captain

Jasper — Charges of official misconduct, grand theft III and cheating filed against former Jasper Police Captain James Michael Cohen have been dropped, according to Hamilton County court records.

On Tuesday, May 13, the Third Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office filed a Notice of Nolle Prosequi, stating it appeared that justice would best be served by the entry of a Nolle Prosequi and declined to prosecute.

The notice also states, “Although probable cause initially existed for the above listed charges, the discovery process has revealed that these charges cannot be proven beyond and to the exclusion of a reasonable doubt.”

Cohen had turned himself in on Dec. 16, 2013, and was booked into the Hamilton County Jail. According to Jasper Police Chief Jeff McGuire, Cohen had resigned from the department on Nov. 15, 2013.

Court records showed that Cohen between, on or about Oct. 10 and Nov. 12, 2013, unlawfully and with a corrupt intent to obtain benefit to himself, received unearned payment of funds from the city of Jasper for hours of unperformed police duties by falsifying official time report documents. Cohen claimed on time sheets that he was on duty with JAPD for full eight hour shifts contrary to Florida Statute 838.022. Cohen was also charged with grand theft III for receiving those unlawful funds, as well as cheating by engaging in false pretenses to obtain U.S. currency, thereby defrauding the city of Jasper.

Cohen was later released from jail on his own recognizance to await the outcome of the investigation, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.

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