Nacogdoches police chief

By Mariela Gonzalez

Recently obtained documents show former Nacogdoches Police Chief Jim Sevey was being investigated for personal use of city property.

The Nacogdoches City Council came to a separation agreement with Sevey on May 17. As part of the agreement, the city is paying for Sevey’s salary and covering health insurance for he and his wife for six months.

Nacogdoches attorney Sean Hightower obtained documents through an open records request for “any and all complaints, investigative reports, disciplinary reports, and/or termination agreements involving Jim Sevey from January 1, 2020 to May 19, 2022.”

“I knew there had to be more information that wasn’t being released, which is not uncommon,” Hightower said. “In a government setting a lot of this information you’re not going to publicly state because there are agreements not to.”

The returned request shows an investigation dating back to Jan. 30 with memos and statements from members of the police department regarding Sevey making personal purchases from his personal Amazon account, using the city purchase card. Most of the purchases were for tools and members of the department reported seeing Sevey go back and forth from the Criminal Investigations Division storage closet, with different tools in hand.

“It was common knowledge throughout segments of the department that Amazon packages arrived almost daily for Sevey,” one staff member wrote. “…It began to appear very clear that some of these items were woodworking or hobby related.”

Another memo states Sevey had purchased some boots on the same Amazon account, saying he was at a crime scene and stepped in some type of chemical that destroyed his boots and “went all the way to the socks.” The memo states he later told someone else he had bought the boots for an officer and they were distributed out but forgot who that officer was.

Sevey was placed on paid leave on April 27.

“The allegations alone is that theft has occurred,” Hightower said. “In Texas, if you steal money that’s an offense of course but it’s actually a separate offense if you use a debit or credit card to steal that money. It’s a felony in Texas regardless of the value.”

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