A Memphis police officer will receive $3,600 a month for the rest of his life, even though he had a sexual relationship with a woman he was investigating in a murder case.
Marc Perrusquia of the Institute for Public Service Reporting reports that Lt. Eric Kelly of the Memphis Police Department was the lead detective on a murder case when he met the woman, whose name was redacted on the documents Perrusquia obtained. Kelly claimed in a police report that the woman, a gang member, was “technically a witness” with “no direct involvement” in the murder. She was later charged as an accessory to the crime.
A few months after taking her statement in the case, Kelly invited the woman on a taxpayer-subsidized work trip to Alabama in 2018. Kelly drove her in a city-issued vehicle to Montgomery and allowed her to spend the night with him in a hotel, which the city paid for. Kelly also provided the woman with marijuana and allowed her to take pictures with his firearms inside his home.
Kelly initially denied the marijuana claim, though he confirmed “some sexual contact.” He eventually resigned from the department November 8, 2019. The prosecutor’s office announced last week that it would not prosecute Kelly.
Because Kelly retired from the force, he will be eligible to receive a pension. The Commercial Appeal reports that the Memphis pension board approved both Kelly’s retirement and a monthly payment of over $3,600 per for the remainder of his life.
The Memphis Police Department refused Reason‘s request to comment on the incident. It remains unclear how Kelly’s sexual relationship will affect the murder case.