SALEM, Ore. -- A former Woodburn police officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to three counts of first-degree official misconduct for having sex in his patrol car with one woman.
He also used his police status to look up background information for a different woman with whom he also had sex in the vehicle.
Timothy Cobos, who had been with the department, will not serve jail time. He was sentenced to 18 months of bench probation and 40 hours of community service. He resigned from the department July 21.
Woodburn Chief of Police Jim Ferraris said Cobos' conduct does not reflect the department's ideals.
"This is a tragedy, it's sad for our department and sad for our community," Ferraris said. "The key here is transparency and accountability. We believe in holding our people accountable for their actions."
Ferraris said the investigation into Cobos' conduct was sparked by a citizen complaint. The investigation showed Cobos had repeatedly engaged in sexual activity while on duty, including in his patrol vehicle, with at least two women.
One of the women had Cobos use police equipment, including software called COPLINK, to access data on people and cases.
Cobos is married and has children, according to the district attorney's office.
He declined comment. His attorney James J. McIntyre says there’s a second side to the story, that the job of being a police officer can take its toll.
“We require police officers and combat infantrymen to see things, and go through things no one else wants to go through,” he said. “Those things can have long term psychological effects, and emotional effects. I know that officer Cobos would not have done what he did five, ten years ago.”
Chief Ferraris suggested otherwise, saying he was “astonished” at the former officer’s “arrogant behavior.”
Ferraris read text messages from Cobos that called the investigation a “witch hunt” and said the messages told one of the women Cobos was involved with not to talk to investigators.
"I thought I'd seen it all, but I was wrong," Ferraris said while reading a statement on behalf of Woodburn Police to the court. "He now meets the definition of a corrupt cop."
Marion County Deputy District Attorney Paige Clarkson, said Cobos' conduct was a breach of the community's trust.
"To see an anomaly like this is disappointing," Clarkson said. "In no way is this representative of how police should work and how they do work in our community."
According to Oregon law, a public servant commits the crime of official misconduct if he or she knowingly fails to perform a duty imposed on their office or knowingly performs an act constituting an unauthorized exercise of official duties with "intent to obtain a benefit or to harm another."
The chief says Cobos “betrayed the badge and the law.”
‘We're taking care of businesses in the Woodburn Police Department and we believe in transparency and accountability,” said Chief Ferraris. “We believe in holding our people accountable for their actions.”
“It’s disappointing,” said he went on to say. “I’ve been in this business a lot of years, and have very close family members who are in this business, who are police officers, and it breaks my heart to see this happen. But it makes our community stronger, and the police department stronger, so we move forward from here and we don’t look back.”