Texas police chief arrested and resigns after alleged ‘fraudulent marriage annulment’ cited in viral post

Lifestyle

STINNETT, Texas (NewsNation Now) — After a Facebook post went viral claiming a Texas police chief was “living a double/triple life” and cited allegedly fake annulment documents, that chief resigned Thursday and was arrested by Texas Rangers.

NewsNation affiliate KAMR reports now-former Stinnett Police Chief Jason Collier was initially placed on administrative leave Wednesday as the city said in a statement it was aware of “the current situation” surrounding Collier as they investigated possible violations of the city employment policy.

Texas Rangers arrested Collier Thursday after they were called to investigate earlier in the week. Hutchinson County Sheriff’s officials said Collier faces a charge of tampering with a government record with the intent to defraud or harm. 

“Collier allegedly sent a text message to the victim with a fraudulent government record attached. The document was a fraudulent marriage annulment,” said Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Cindy Barkley.

In the original Facebook post which went viral, Cecily Steinmetz of Amarillo, Texas, said she was engaged to Collier before learning he was married. She alleged Collier presented her with a false document that stated his marriage had been annulled. Her post includes a photo of the document, and she elaborated in an interview with KAMR:

“He was like, Well, you know, I’ll get you the annulment and he’s like, just hold on. And I was like, okay, you know, let me see it then, and he sent that to me. And I told him, I said, Well, I’m not going to take this at face value, I’m going to check it out with Potter County,”  Steinmetz said. “I did not think it was right in his position to be presenting people with a false document like that.”

The image of the document Steinmetz provided to KAMR claims to be filed in the 108th District Court. Judge Doug Woodburn presides over that court. KAMR reached out and shared with him the photo of the annulment document Steinmetz claimed Collier sent to her.

“No match exists either under that name or cause number. Our cause numbers are completely different, consisting of a 0 followed by 6 numbers, starting in 7 or 8,” Judge Woodburn said via text message on Thursday. “My court is followed by the letter E. It’s a fake.”

When asked what she hoped to accomplish by posting about Collier, Steinmetz said she wanted to raise awareness locally and for Collier to be held accountable.

“As per city policy, we will refrain from commenting on any personal issues of personnel in a public forum,” Stinnett City Manager Durk Downs said Wednesday, noting the city was taking the situation seriously.

Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Barkely said Collier’s bond is set at $10,000.

NewsNation affiliate KAMR and reporter Kaley Green contributed to this report

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