City of Bertram, Wilson reach separation agreement, former chief to reimburse city $1,000 deductible for wrecked cruiser

By Richard Zowie
Staff Writer

Embattled former City of Bertram police chief J.J. Wilson has agreed to reimburse the city for a $1,000 deductible to acquire a new police cruiser that he's been charged with crashing in October.

Wilson and the city also reached a separation agreement, officially ending his employment with the northeastern Burnet County town's police department and stating other conditions by which he's expected to abide.

As per the separation agreement, Wilson has agreed to accept a separation designation of general discharge. This is one step below an honorable discharge.

Wilson had been on unpaid leave, following Oct. 2 grand jury indictments for felony perjury and misdemeanor official oppression charges (for which he was released from the Burnet County Jail on a $1,500 surety bond).

Wilson was again indicted for crashing a patrol vehicle Oct. 24 on FM 1431 East in the county. Police say Wilson left the Chevrolet Tahoe police unit, and officials charged him with driving while intoxicated.

Wilson had been suspended without pay until Nov. 13 (later extended to Dec. 27).

Separation agreement

According to the separation agreement, Wilson had accrued 28.25 days of combined vacation and personal time off.

The separation agreement also states that “ . . . The City Council believes that it is in the best interest of the City to accept the resignation of Wilson following the expiration of his accrued vacation and personal time off. For the valuable consideration stated [in this agreement], Wilson agrees to fully and finally release and discharge the City, its elected officials, employees, representatives, attorneys, and assigns, in both their official and individual capacities, from any and all claims regarding any acts or events occurring prior to the date of execution of this Separation Agreement.”

The agreement's execution date is Nov. 13.

Jones, as per the agreement, will not represent himself to anybody that he's a police officer for Bertram. He will also use his accrued vacation leave and personal time off during the leave period. Though he's on unpaid leave, Wilson will receive compensation for the use of his accrued vacation leave and personal time off.

Peace officer status

In the agreement, the city “. . . will submit an F-5 form to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement which will reflect a General Discharge based on resignation.”

The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement offers three types of discharges, Honorably Discharged, General Discharge, and Dishonorably Discharged.”

Wilson agreed not to challenge the General Discharge.

Throughout the rest of his leave period, Wilson will still have medical insurance in place.

In the separation agreement, Wilson also agreed to return all city equipment and property to the city on or before his resignation date. He also has agreed to reimburse Bertram $1,000, which is the deductible amount paid or due by the city for the destruction of the Bertram Police Department Unit #211, that Wilson is accused of wrecking in his alleged DWI.

Resignation terms

Wilson also has agreed not to seek or apply for unemployment benefits from the city, nor will he engage in “any disparaging conduct or communications, both written and oral, toward the City of Bertram or any elected official or employee of the City of Bertram.”

The agreement also states that if Wilson breaches the agreement during the leave period, Wilson “agrees that he will forfeit the compensation due for the accrued vacation leave and personal time off from the date of the breach until the resignation date.”

Georgina Hernandez, city administrator with Bertram, said she had no further comment on the agreement.

Wilson could not be reached for comment.

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