PHOENIX — The Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board is considering the possibility of revoking the certifications of Pinal County Sheriff’s Deputy Julian Navarrette, who was picked up for DUI by Arizona State University Police in December.
The board is also considering revoking the credentials of a former PCSO deputy who allegedly struck his ex-wife.
The AzPOST board is responsible for establishing standards for professionalism, training and recruitment for law enforcement and corrections officers in the state. It can also do its own investigation into reports of officer misconduct and may deny, suspend, revoke or cancel a law enforcement officer’s certification. A person cannot serve as a law enforcement officer in the state without certification from AzPOST.
The board received information on both cases on Wednesday and unanimously approved initiating proceedings against Navarrette and former PCSO Deputy Jason Philpot.
Navarrette was stopped and arrested on charges of driving under the influence in December 2020 when an ASU Police officer noticed his car weaving across the road.
Navarrette tried to get the police officer and the officer’s superior officer to let him go by explaining that he was a Pinal County deputy and that it would ruin his career, according to body camera videos of the arrest. When tested at the ASU police station, Navarrette allegedly had a blood alcohol content of 1.47. He also allegedly became belligerent with officers.
Philpot had two cases filed against him, one for an incident in 2019 and one for an incident in 2020. Philpot resigned from the PCSO in December 2019. Navarrette is still employed by PCSO.
Philpot received PCSO’s Act of Bravery award, along with another deputy, for their actions during a 2013 bank robbery in Gold Canyon.
In September 2020, Philpot, who was no longer with PCSO, allegedly drove to the home in San Tan Valley where his ex-wife was living and according to witnesses, got into a fight with a man in the home. Philpot allegedly tried to hit the man but ended up hitting his ex-wife, who was pregnant at the time, in the stomach. He also pushed another man, a family member of his ex-wife, who attempted to break up the fight.
Philpot was arrested by PCSO deputies and allegedly admitted to entering the home in order to confront the man he tried to hit. He was charged with assault and disorderly conduct in court but accepted an agreement to enter a diversion program and the charges were deferred until he completes the program. Once he completes the program the charges could be dismissed.
On July 3, 2019, Philpot was put on administrative leave by PCSO for reasons that were not disclosed during the board’s meeting. While on leave, Philpot was supposed to stay at home and check in with his office at 8 a.m. and remain on call until 5 p.m. He was supposed to be available at any time during those hours to respond to a call or a visit from a superior officer, as well as follow other directions for requesting time off and be able to report to PCSO’s headquarters in Florence in about 60 minutes if called in.
On July 10, 2019, Philpot texted a superior officer around 1 a.m. and told him he was taking the day off. Later that morning, Philpot’s superior officer told him to report in at 8 a.m. as usual.
Then at 10 a.m. two superior officers went to Philpot’s home to speak to him about work-related matters. The deputies reported hearing Philpot’s voice inside the home but he allegedly refused to answer the door. He called one of the deputies and said that he was not at home and ordered the deputies to leave his property.
Later that same day, Philpot allegedly refused to report to PCSO headquarters, stating that he was on leave and that his leave had been approved when it had not.
In September 2019, superior officers found out that Philpot had allegedly been working off-duty traffic jobs in Phoenix while he was still on administrative leave. They also found that on three separate dates in November 2019, Philpot, while still on leave, had allegedly checked in with his superior officer and had been working a job for a private company when he was supposed to be at home.
The Pinal County Attorney’s Office filed and then dropped charges against Philpot in the matter.