This article is part of an ongoing investigative series from Idaho Dispatch regarding allegations of questionable hiring practices and corruption in the city of Caldwell. You can view the first article we did regarding the FBI’s investigation of two Caldwell Police Officers here.
In June 2017, Caldwell Police Sergeant Adam Matthews resigned from the police force after receiving his second Driving Under the Influence charge in just three days.
On one of Matthews’ DUIs, he tested at a .19, more than twice Idaho’s .08 legal limit, according to a report from CBS 2 news. Matthews advanced to the rank of sergeant within the department just six months prior to the DUI charges. The sergeant rank is considered a “supervisory” rank.
After Matthews resigned, Caldwell Police Chief Frank Wyant is quoted in a KTVB story as saying the following about Matthews’ resignation,
This is one [a DUI offense] that could affect a lot of people. You could change peoples world, so the severity is a little different than a inattentive (driving) or a speeding ticket.
Eighteen months after Matthews’ resignation, the city of Caldwell created a new position called the “Community Outreach Coordinator” for the Caldwell Police Department as a “non-sworn” position. Records reveal that sixteen candidates applied for the newly created post.
Matthews was ultimately chosen for the COC position by Wyant. For the next year and a half, Matthews held the position of COC before he resumed his role as a sworn police officer for the city of Caldwell.
Once Matthews resumed his role as a police officer, the position of Community Outreach Coordinator was dissolved and the duties were divided up among sworn officers.
Approximately eleven months after Matthews returned to the police force, he received his sergeant stripes back.
Sources Idaho Dispatch has spoken with, who have direct knowledge of Matthews’ return to the police force, said the way Matthews was brought back was “shady to say the least.” The sources did not wish to be named for fear of repercussions.
Here is a brief timeline of the events taking place:
- January 2017: Matthews was awarded the rank of Sergeant.
- June 2017: Matthews resigned after two DUI charges, one of them listed as “excessive.”
- January 2019: New position of Community Outreach Coordinator created, and Matthews picked for the job.
- July 2020: Matthews moved back onto the police force, and the COC position was dissolved.
- June 2021: Matthews obtains his Sergeant stripes.
Idaho Dispatch asked the City of Caldwell through a public records request who was responsible for picking the individual who would be selecting the applicant that would get the COC job.
The city told Idaho Dispatch that Wyant selected the hire for the COC position. When it comes to hiring individuals for a police department, former police officers tell Idaho Dispatch that the chief is usually the person who would select the winning candidate, whether it was for a sworn or non-sworn position.
Idaho Dispatch was informed through the records request that records did not exist for who was interviewed. In a follow-up question to Human Resources Director, Alyssa Battaglia, Idaho Dispatch asked for clarification on why records did not exist and whether interviews took place. Here is what Battaglia told us,
Interviews were conducted however, the interview materials were not retained after the interviews were complete and an applicant was selected for the position.
Additionally, in response to Idaho Dispatch’s records request, the city told us that the COC duties were divided up among other officers saying,
In July 2020, this position went away and some of the tasks within the position became a special assignment for sworn Officers, similar to the special assignment of a School Resource Officer.
Idaho Dispatch has reached out to Wyant to ask he felt Mattews was the best choice for the job, why the position was dissolved after Matthews moved back onto the police force, and for a comment on the allegation that the re-hiring of Matthews was “shady” and a “ploy to bring Matthews back quietly.”
At the time of Matthews’ resignation, Wyant told KTVB,
All officers are human beings dealing with their own issues – they’re not just a badge and a gun. Sometimes they make bad choices, and there are consequences.
What do you think of this story? Let us know in the comments below.
Note: Thumbnail image from Caldwell PD Facebook page. Idaho Dispatch added the circle for identification purposes. The officer on the left is Adam Matthews. The officer on the right is Lt. Joey Hoadley.
Tags: Adam Matthews, Caldwell Police Department, Community Outreach Coordinator, DUI, FBI, Frank Wyant, Joey Hoadley