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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Ex-Caldwell Police Lt. Joey Hoadley sentenced for tampering with witness, documents

Feb. 6, 2023 Updated Tue., Feb. 7, 2023 at 5:57 p.m.

By Alex Brizee Idaho Statesman

Ex-Caldwell police Lt. Joey Hoadley was sentenced to three months in prison Monday.

Hoadley, who was fired from the department in May, was convicted by a 12-person jury after a six-day trial of three counts: destruction, alteration or falsification of records in an FBI investigation; tampering with a witness by harassment; and tampering with documents.

He was acquitted on the first charge of willfully depriving another person of rights under the color of law. Hoadley was initially accused of striking a man in the face during a 2017 arrest, which prompted the initial charge against Hoadley.

“There is no sentence that I can pronounce that is perfect,” Judge Scott W. Skavdahl said in federal court Monday. “This was an offense of arrogance and defiance and stupidity.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Horwitz asked Hoadley be sentenced to 41 months, or nearly three-and-a-half years in prison, while Hoadley’s attorney Charles Peterson asked for probation. He will be placed on one year of supervised probation after he is released from prison, Skavdahl said.

“This case shows that we will not hesitate to hold accountable police officers who violate the law – just like we do for everyone else,” U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit said in a statement. “At the same time, it is important to emphasize that this investigation occurred because several Caldwell police officers refused to tolerate the defendant’s violations and stood up to his abuse of power.

Hoadley is expected to turn himself over to a location designated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons before 2 p.m. on April 4. The exact prison where Hoadley will serve his time has not been determined yet, but Peterson asked Skavdahl to consider the Federal Correctional Institution in Sheridan, Oregon – which is roughly seven hours away.

“My days of being a police officer are behind me,” Hoadley said in court Monday, holding back tears. “That’s OK. I’ve come to grips with that.”

Hoadley is expected to be decertified by the Idaho Peace Officers Standards and Training. A felony conviction is automatic grounds for decertification.

Hoadley apologized for harassing then-Officer Chad Hessman, who testified against Hoadley, and said he’d “always considered Chad a friend.” He also apologized for leaving “valuable information” from his police report and deleting information from his cellphone and laptop.

“I want to give back to my community,” Hoadley said, “and I want to make this right.”

Canyon County prosecutor testifies to support Hoadley

Hoadley received 65 letters in support from family members, coworkers, people who were previously incarcerated, community leaders and others, including Idaho state Rep. Chris Allgood, R-Caldwell, and former Caldwell Police Chief Frank Wyant.

The letters were not public, but Peterson included a segment of Allgood and Wyant’s letters in a sentencing memorandum that was submitted to the court before Monday’s sentencing. Allgood, in his letter, credited Hoadley with leading the department’s street crimes unit and reducing crime in the city.

Allgood added that Hoadley was ” tough and professional, not abusive or corrupt.”

“Through the years, Joey has played a big role in the community, from setting up fundraisers for those less fortunate and giving of his time to coach and develop young boys in sports,” Wyant said in his letter. “The hours that Joey has donated and sacrificed to help others is a testament to his desire to serve others and have a positive impact on the community.”

Canyon County Prosecutor Bryan Taylor also submitted a letter in support of Hoadley and testified in court Monday, calling Hoadley a “remarkable man.”

“He’s always represented the Caldwell Police Department in a very positive light,” Taylor said in court Monday.

Assistant U.S. attorney: Hoadley ‘obstructed justice’

While Horwitz agreed that Hoadley was influential in his community, she said that Hoadley also obstructed a federal investigation, wiped data from city-issued electronics, harassed a lower-ranking officer and had a “pattern of obstructive behavior.”

“There’s really no question that Mr. Hoadley has done good things for his community over the course of his 20 years as a police officer,” Horwitz said. “But there’s also really no question now that he has on multiple occasions obstructed justice – and that’s why we’re here today.”

Horwitz also questioned Taylor’s statement that no one had ever complained to him about Hoadley’s police work in the roughly 20 years they’d worked together.

“Are you saying that no one has ever expressed a complaint to you about Joey Hoadley’s police work?” Horwitz asked.

“Not from a trustworthy aspect,” Taylor responded.

Horwitz presented an internal use of force complaint document of Caldwell officers, which showed that Hoadley had been found “at fault” for a use of force violation in 2013. Peterson countered and asked Taylor if it was still true that no officer or prosecutor had complained to him about Hoadley, Taylor said, “Yes.”

“This policing business is tough business,” Peterson said. “We don’t expect them to always get it right. What we expect them to do is to act reasonably under the circumstances, with the best intentions at all times.”

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