Man with felony record hired by JPD, then charged with stealing ten days later

Documents show assistant chief authorized felon’s hire over deputy chief’s rejection

Man with felony record hired by JPD, then charged with embezzlement within weeks

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Internal documents obtained by 3 On Your Side show a Jackson Police Department command staff conflicted over the hiring of a man with a violent criminal past.

The department’s background investigations report for Xavier Hill shows two members of JPD leadership -- Cmdr. Tyrone Buckley and Deputy Chief Tina Wallace -- rejecting the application in July 2019.

In August, Assistant Chief Ricky Robinson reversed the decision and approved Hill’s application.

This internal personnel document from the Jackson Police Department shows the conflict among two command staff members regarding the hiring of Xavier Hill. The document also appears to have been altered using liquid paper to conceal a checkmark for the box marked "applicant has been rejected."
This internal personnel document from the Jackson Police Department shows the conflict among two command staff members regarding the hiring of Xavier Hill. The document also appears to have been altered using liquid paper to conceal a checkmark for the box marked "applicant has been rejected."

Payroll records obtained through a public records request show Hill started his job as an inventory controller for the department’s impound lot on Sept. 16.

Ten days later, Cmdr. Jaye Coleman confronted Hill over an eyewitness account that he stole fishing poles from an impounded vehicle, according to an incident report.

The report states Hill voluntarily admitted to taking the poles after Coleman asked to search his truck.

Coleman then asked for the man’s keys to the office and gate, and arrested him.

Municipal court records show a bench warrant filed against Hill for embezzlement of less than $1,000, a misdemeanor, on Sept. 26 after the arrest.

This incident report released by JPD corresponds to Xavier Hill's arrest, even though Hill's name has been removed from the document, which is a violation of the Mississippi Public Records Act.
This incident report released by JPD corresponds to Xavier Hill's arrest, even though Hill's name has been removed from the document, which is a violation of the Mississippi Public Records Act.
This bench warrant issued for Xavier Hill details the criminal charge and date of arrest.
This bench warrant issued for Xavier Hill details the criminal charge and date of arrest.

While it’s unclear from the internal personnel documents why Hill was initially rejected for the civilian position, Hill’s past is littered with convictions and charges, too.

Hinds County records show a circuit court judge sentenced Xavier Hill to three years in prison for uttering a forgery in May 1987, but nearly all of that was suspended.

Months later, another circuit judge sentenced Hill to twenty years in prison for aggravated assault and three counts of armed robbery, with ten of those years suspended.

Man with felony record hired by JPD, then charged with stealing within weeks
Man with felony record hired by JPD, then charged with stealing within weeks

Jackson Municipal Court records show one other felony charge on his record: driving under the influence (third offense), but that charge was remanded in 2008, according to documents from the Administrative Office of Courts.

Six months before JPD even considered him as a candidate, city court records show Hill was charged with sending obscene electronic communications.

That case has since been remanded as well.

While it’s unclear why Robinson reversed Wallace’s decision and approved Hill’s hire, the internal document appears to have been altered.

Neither the box stating “applicant has been rejected” nor the check mark in that box can be clearly seen because of what looks like liquid paper covering part of it.

Our investigation also revealed something unusual in Hill’s payroll records.

Though the incident report says Hill was caught Sept. 26, and the arresting officer took Hill’s city-issued keys, subsequent weeks show pay codes indicating Hill worked eight-hour shifts each Monday through Friday until Wednesday, Nov. 13.

This payroll record from the City of Jackson shows Xavier Hill's last paid day as Nov. 13, 2019, nearly two months after his misdemeanor arrest for embezzlement.
This payroll record from the City of Jackson shows Xavier Hill's last paid day as Nov. 13, 2019, nearly two months after his misdemeanor arrest for embezzlement.

City records indicate the position of inventory controller pays $12.72 an hour, which translates into $26,447 annually.

Based on that information, Hill made an additional gross salary of $3,458.75.

When asked about Hill’s extra pay, Jackson Communications Director Candice Cole offered no explanation.

“[It] is a personnel issue which we cannot offer comment on," Cole said in an emailed statement. “With regards to Mr. Hill’s hiring, I can only say that this administration believes in playing a proactive role in helping returning citizens become contributing members of society."

Neither Cole nor JPD Sgt. Roderick Holmes answered any other questions related to this investigation, instead telling 3 On Your Side these questions would be relayed to Chief James Davis, who has not responded.

Copyright 2020 WLBT. All rights reserved.