The Texas County sheriff is facing a multitude of charges following investigation by the Missouri Highway Patrol into allegations of a misuse of authority and preferential treatment involving him and a female employee who he allegedly had more than a professional relationship with.
James Sigman, Texas County sheriff, is facing multiple felony charges following an investigation into his relationship with a woman, Jennifer Tomaszewski, whom he allegedly allowed to commit several felonies through her position at the Texas County Sheriff’s Office.
Tomaszewski was hired by Sigman to work as a jailer by the sheriff’s office in 2016, according to the investigation’s probable cause statement, and received several promotions, eventually becoming the Jail Administrator and Chief Deputy for the department. The statement says at least one of these promotions was gained without any prior experience, and also says she had been in a romantic relationship with Sigman since “very near the time she was initially hired at the Sheriff’s Office.”
During the investigation, it was discovered that Sigman allowed Tomaszewski to conduct inquiries through Texas County Dispatch using Sigmans badge number, and perform other police duties when she was not an officer. The probable cause statement says Tomaszewski would often wear a uniform that was “indistinguishable from a Texas County Deputy’s uniform.” Sigman also allegedly gave her two weapons, a Glock Pistol owned by the sheriff’s office, as well as an AR-15 rifle, which was normally used by Sigman. Multiple officers within the department confirmed they often saw Tomaszewski acting “like the police” on multiple occasions.
These occasions involved acts normally reserved for commissioned officers, according to the statement, including going undercover during “sting” operations. According to the probable cause statement, another deputy, Nathan Long, was knowledgeable of these instances, referring to Tomaszewski as “the bait.”
In another instance, Tomaszewski pointed a firearm at several individuals, including a one-year-old child, during a search warrant, according to court documents.
According to the probable cause statement, Tomaszewski also threatened inmates within the jail, threatening to shoot one in the head. On another occasion, she was witnessed assaulting an incarcerated individual, rendering him unconscious. The probable cause statement said the incarcerated individual suffered “obvious mental deficiencies,” estimating him to have the mental capacity of a nine-year-old child. Other officers were in the room as well, including Sigman, according to witnesses.
“If we hadn’t been there, they would have killed that boy,” one deputy said, according to the probable cause statement. When a report on the incident was looked for by investigators, a false one was discovered in its place.
Throughout Tomaszewski’s tenure at the sheriff’s office, she brought a child with her on multiple occasions, often in front of unsecured inmates. According to the probable cause statement, these inmates included sexually violent offenders. Tomaszewski allegedly had the child assist in serving meals to the inmates, and they often ate with two specific inmates, one of which being a sexually violent offender from Wright County.
The probable cause statement said several employees confirmed the child was in immediate danger, but there was nothing they could do because of their fear of retribution. Jail surveillance videos confirmed the child being around these unsecured inmates.