POWELL, WYOMING – A former Powell police officer has been arrested on a warrant, and law enforcement and court officials will not say why.
Information posted to the Park County Sheriff’s Office website over the weekend listed 39-year-old Kirk Chapman as having been arrested Friday at the Park County Courthouse and included a booking photo.
Chapman served as a Powell police officer from January 2007 until November 2011, when he resigned and moved to Wisconsin to rejoin his family.
When asked Monday what the warrant was for, Park County Sheriff Scott Steward said the information about Chapman’s arrest had been inadvertently posted online.
“It’s not supposed to be there,” Steward said Monday morning. The arrest information remained online Monday evening.
An employee at Park County Circuit Court in Cody said a matter related to Chapman was under seal and she would not say whether he’d recently made a court appearance.
Park County Attorney Bryan Skoric, whose office handles the prosecution of all criminal allegations in Park County, would not comment on Chapman’s arrest and would not say if any charges were pending.
Criminal cases can be sealed when the court wants to protect the identity of the person who is alleged to have been wronged, but only in certain types of cases are a defendant’s arrest and information about any court appearances also confidential.
Asked if he knew of the circumstances that led to Chapman’s arrest, Powell Police Chief Roy Eckerdt said he did, “but I’m not at liberty to discuss it.”
Eckerdt would not comment on whether the arrest had anything to do with Chapman’s time at the department or comment on the circumstances of the officer’s November resignation. Chapman had been planning to leave Powell for some time.
“The arrest obviously is due to a warrant, and it’s a warrant that was generated by another law enforcement agency, and therefore I can’t really discuss their case,” said Eckerdt. He also noted that anything related to Chapman’s employment at the city would be confidential personnel information.
The Tribune requested a copy of Chapman’s letter of resignation several months ago, but that request was denied by City Administrator Zane Logan on the grounds that it was confidential personnel information.
As a general statement, Eckerdt said he expects Powell police to operate with integrity, courage and compassion.
“No one is above the law, and no one is below the law,” the chief said.
Eckerdt noted that Chapman, like any member of the public, has a Constitutional right to due process.
It was not clear who, if anyone, is representing Chapman.
A Facebook message seeking to get in touch with Chapman wasn’t immediately returned Monday afternoon.