A police chief who was praised for fighting crime in Olney and fixing problems in the police department resigned through letter Thursday night and may face trial for making lewd propositions to a woman in February.
Olney City Councilors held an emergency meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday to accept the resignation of Robert Cross as acting chief.
Cross also served as the Olney Fire Marshal.
Cross was appointed police chief in October to replace former police chief Barry Robert who was fired for alleged misconduct.
Cross was arrested by a Texas Ranger at the Olney Police Department Wednesday night and booked into the Young County Jail.
Texas Ranger Toby Catlin interviewed the woman Wednesday who said she met and became friends with Cross.
The woman said she was having problems arranging residence for her common-law husband who was about to be released from prison. She said she needed Cross to confirm for parole officers the residence was not in a restricted zone for sex offenders.
The ranger said the woman sent Cross a text asking him to verify the address and Cross texted her he would take care of it if she would “belong to him” and he would have free use of her. The ranger said Cross also told her she would have to be his chore slave, and he asked to see some photos of her private area.
The complaint states these actions constitute official oppression by a law officer.
The booking sheet shows Cross was taken to jail by Young County Sheriff Travis Babcock and cross-posted bond Thursday morning.
In December, Cross received a medal of valor for his reported bravery in trying to save an elderly woman from a burning building while he worked at the Pelican Bay Police Department.
Cross was praised by residents for his efforts to stop child pornography and other crime in Olney.
In the meeting Thursday, councilors will also discuss an agreement with the Young County Sheriff Officer to provide law enforcement assistance in Olney.
According to Olney Mayor, Phil Jeske, former Interim Police Chief, Robert Cross handed in his resignation letter after posting bond.
In a unanimous decision, the Olney City Council accepted Cross’ resignation, and after the meeting, the mayor said he would speak to us briefly.
Mayor Jeske wasn’t able to say much about what led to Cross’ departure from the police department.
He said, “Yesterday afternoon we were notified by the Texas Rangers that Interim Police Chief, Robert Cross had been arrested, he was arraigned, he was bonded out this morning and gave us his letter of resignation which is what we accepted tonight, that’s a criminal matter that I can’t discuss and that I have no knowledge of. That would be something that would have to be discussed with the County Attorney and law enforcement officials.”
“Was firing him not an option? Why was the resignation the only way that you guys went? Again, I can’t comment on an on-going criminal investigation, he offered his resignation and it was accepted”
Cross also served as Olney’s Fire Marshall and Mayor Jeske says the council voted to rescind that position as well.
Mayor Jeske told us, “Obviously if he’s not an employee, he shouldn’t be holding up any position with the city.”
Councilors voted to appoint Robert Clark as the Interim Chief Administrative Officer for the police department.
The police department currently has 4 officers.
Mayor Jeske said they are still accepting applications to get replacement officers until they are fully staffed.