UPDATED: Former CMU Police officer Jeffrey Card pleads guilty to charge of misconduct
Former Central Michigan University Police officer Jeffrey Card pleaded guilty Monday morning to misconduct in Isabella County Trial Court.
As Central Michigan Life previously reported, Card was charged after an incident that took place Sept. 11, 2011. Card, who was on duty, offered two female CMU students a ride home. He drove the two 21-year-old women from O’Kelly’s Sports Bar & Grill, 2000 S. Mission St., to a remote dirt road.
Card told the two girls he was going to give them portable breath tests, and if the test results were higher than a certain limit, the two girls would have to expose their bare chests. The two girls agreed, and exposed their bare chests after the test results proved higher than Card’s set limit.
After the two girls put their clothes on, they agreed to pose for a photograph on the back of Card’s patrol car, which investigators later found on Card’s cell phone.
CMU Police Chief Bill Yeagley said they have not and will not be changing any policies for their officers because of the incident.
He said the department already has the right safeguards in place.
"I think we had the right response to the incident, and it was handled correctly," Yeagley said. "I'm very saddened it occurred, because I know how how hard our department works and the caliber of service they can provide for the area."
According to a press release from Isabella County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Burdick, Card pleaded guilty to a charge of misconduct in office. Card, a Mount Pleasant resident, had previously been suspended from the CMU Police before resigning soon after.
Misconduct of office requires proof that the accused was a public officer at the time of the act, and in the performance of his official duties or under the color of his office, acted with a corrupt intent when performing a wrongful act.
"The actions of Mr. Card that night were harmful not only to the two young women but to the community in general. It was an abuse of power and an egregious violation of trust. Fortunately, it is an aberration from the exemplary policing which the CMU community has received from the campus police for many years," Burdick said in the release.
Misconduct in office is a felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 24. According to the release, Card will lose his certification as a police officer as a result of the conviction.
Staff Reporter Jordan Spence contributed to this report.