Suspended Beaumont Police Officer Keith Breiner, left, took the stand after Police Chief Frank Coffin, right, gave his last statement. The plea to jurisdiction trial coming from Officer Breiner's request for an injunction continued Thursday in Judge Sanderson's 60th District Court. Dave Ryan/The Enterprise
By DEE DIXON
BEAUMONT - Officer Keith Breiner is expected to remain on the stand today after a Thursday of lurid testimony where the most intimate details of a bungled felony prostitution investigation were revealed.
Thursday also was the day Police Chief Frank Coffin told the court the officer's personnel file contained "junk" and the department's written evaluations were "flawed" and "antiquated."
Coffin's comments were in response to attorney Larry Watts, who in representing Breiner in his efforts to be reinstated, spoke of the officer's many commendations.
Watts had questioned Coffin about what information he used to decide to suspend the officer and what weight Breiner's personnel file had.
"His personnel file has junk in it. It's not worth considering," Coffin said.
"Performance appraisals are not worth the paper they were written on," Coffin said earlier. "The system is flawed. The system doesn't work well and in my opinion, the system causes more problems."
Breiner is one of two officers suspended indefinitely without pay for engaging in sex acts during the undercover investigation. Breiner is the only officer trying to stop the city from suspending him, saying that because he did what he was asked to do, the punishment violated his constitutional rights.
"I don't agree that he should have had sex. I don't agree that (Lt. Curtis) Breaux told him he should have sex," Coffin said.
Breiner has said all along that Breaux told him he would have to have sex with the women to make the case.
Breiner added that the other undercover officers didn't want to participate in the sting because they didn't want to have to testify in open court. Also the officers indicated their wives wouldn't allow it.
Lt. David Kiker is the other officer who was suspended without pay for having sex. Breaux and Sgt. Robert Roberts were suspended five days for failing to notify department heads of the lengths the officers would go to pursue a felony conviction.
Breiner testified to experiencing manual stimulation, oral sex and vaginal penetration with women at two spas.
Assistant City Attorney Joseph Sanders asked Breiner if he enjoyed having sex with the women.
At first he shrugged his shoulders and shook his head. At times when Breiner responded to the attorney's questions, he raised his voice and answered questions with a question.
"If you are asking if I had an orgasm, yes. It was a job, sir," Breiner said. "I didn't have pleasure doing this. I was paid to do it."
Sanders also asked Breiner if he had a problem getting aroused.
"Obviously, you haven't listened to the tapes. Yes, I did," Breiner responded.
Coffin testified earlier that he listened to some of the recordings and found "no significant information there."
After the incident, Sanders asked Breiner if bragged to his co-workers about "how good the sex was, using crude words."
"We were BSing in the office," Breiner said of the conversation with coworkers.
While questioning Breiner, Sanders asked Breiner about his fidelity and wedding vows.
Sanders asked Breiner if he was faithful to his wife.
"I am true to my wife, period," Breiner said.
Sanders even produced a copy of what Breiner identified as a "copy of my marriage license," which Sanders asked Breiner to read to the court.
In a round of questioning about sexually transmitted diseases, Breiner said the women at the spas provided protection in the form of condoms.
He said if he had contracted a sexually transmitted disease, the city should be held responsible.
After each encounter in the spas, Breiner said he asked for a department exposure report. The reports are filed by an officer after he or she comes in contact with bodily fluids on the job.
Breiner testified he was not given an exposure form and was not sent by the city to be checked for an STD after each encounter. He also testified he didn't get tested on his own.
During questioning by City Attorney Tyrone Cooper, Coffin said it is important how the public perceives an officer and whether they maintain good family values.
And in meting out discipline, the chief said poor judgment and morality could be considered.
Coffin raised questions about Breiner's family values.
"There's a glaring incident that I have to question - having sex with someone who is not your wife," he said.
Coffin said Breiner's actions reflected poorly on the department and his actions were inconsistent and in conflict with those of other officers.
"I have very high morals but they are being attacked because of something I did for the city," Breiner said during testimony.
In a round of questioning, Sanders asked Breiner why Coffin suspended him indefinitely without pay.
"Apparently, he didn't think it was appropriate for the department," Breiner said. "He couldn't handle the heat. The public found out about it and that put the pressure on the city."