New charges accuse fired Caldwell police officer of tampering with witnesses, documents

·4 min read

Two new federal charges have been filed against a former Caldwell police officer.

Lt. Joey Hoadley, who was indicted on two federal charges earlier this year, now faces additional charges of tampering with a witness by harassment and tampering with documents, according to an indictment filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Boise.

The charges stem from an investigation by Ryan O’Neil of the FBI, court documents show. The FBI has been investigating officers in the police department since at least this spring, the city has said.

According to the indictment, on or about June 29, 2021, Hoadley intentionally harassed a person listed by the initials C.H. and attempted to hinder, delay, and dissuade the person from reporting to a law enforcement officer.

The indictment also said that on or about April 20, 2022, Hoadley altered, destroyed, mutilated and concealed a record and with the intent to impair its integrity and availability in his pending case.

Newly hired Caldwell Police Chief Rex Ingram told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that the initial allegations that sparked the FBI investigation came from within the department. Ingram said he was unable to elaborate on the new charges against Hoadley.

Caldwell Police Chief Rex Ingram speaks during an Aug. 10, 2022 press conference, regarding additional charges that were filed against fired Caldwell Lt. Joey Hoadley.
Caldwell Police Chief Rex Ingram speaks during an Aug. 10, 2022 press conference, regarding additional charges that were filed against fired Caldwell Lt. Joey Hoadley.

Ingram said he didn’t know if these would be the last charges filed against Hoadley. He said that since he took over the department, he’s had regular communication with the FBI investigators. Ingram said that before his appointment, “there wasn’t the most full cooperation from this organization with the FBI.”

He said he wants the public to know his department will take their complaints seriously.

“You have to give us the benefit of the doubt, and you have to not categorize all police officers as bad,” Ingram said Wednesday. “We hire from the human gene pool, and when humans are in positions of employment, whether it’s here or McDonald’s or Chick-fil-A, humans make mistakes. ... We have about 99% of our employees that do a professional job.”

These charges were added to two original federal charges against Hoadley filed in March. According to that indictment, Hoadley struck a man, listed as B.H, while arresting him on March 30, 2017. He was also charged with destruction, alteration or falsification of records in a federal investigation.

Hoadley pleaded not guilty to the first two earlier charges on April 19.

Hoadley was fired from the Caldwell Police Department on May 12, the Idaho Statesman previously reported.

Late last month, six officers were added to the list of Caldwell police officers under investigation, the Statesman reported.

Ingram, who joined the department in July, previously told the Statesman that five officers and one former officer were under investigation by Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training, or POST, for possible decertification. The officers were being investigated for policy violations that were not criminal but could become criminal in the future, Ingram said.

Ingram said Wednesday that POST’s investigation is on hold while his department’s internal affairs officers investigate.

The five officers are still being paid by the department, but they’ve been assigned to administrative duties, he said.

“The citizens in Caldwell deserve to have the most police officers on the street, doing their job to keep this place safe,” Ingram told reporters. “It’s been a very big burden on me as the manager of this organization to staff our cars appropriately, to staff our investigations appropriately, because that’s five officers that all had an instrumental role in doing different things in this organization.”

Ingram said he is working 18- to 20-hour days looking at improving and potentially changing the way things work within the department. He specifically mentioned that he’s looking at the department’s hiring, training, recruitment and retention policies, among other things.

He added that he has been making efforts to recruit Latino personnel by going on Spanish-language radio so that the police department better mirrors the community.

The POST investigations were spurred by the FBI investigation into Hoadley and one other Caldwell officer who has yet to be named. Ingram told reporters Wednesday that he has been briefed by the FBI that it might pursue charges against the other officer. He declined to identify that officer.

Lawsuits have have been filed against some officers.

Josh Hurwit, Idaho’s U.S. attorney, declined to elaborate on Hoadley’s charges.

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