The Mississippi Court of Appeals has affirmed the termination of a Hattiesburg Police Department Officer who was fired in 2015 after allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl.
The court’s decision backs the one made by Forrest County Circuit Court Judge Jon Mark Weathers, who affirmed the termination of Clint Breland in June 2017. Breland appealed the termination after it was upheld by the Hattiesburg Civil Service Commission.
Court documents released on Nov. 21 state that in 2011, Breland, who was then 34 years old, made a traffic stop on 16-year-old Christan Damiens. Rather than issuing a ticket to Damiens, Breland issued her a warning, at which point the two began sharing personal information in person and online.
“They began meeting often while Breland was on and off duty,” the document states. “Within two to four weeks of meeting, they began having a sexual relationship, which lasted six to eight months.”
After the issue came to light, Breland was terminated from HPD on Feb. 3, 2015, for conduct unbecoming an officer, neglect of duty and abuse of city time. He then appealed his termination to the HCSC, which upheld Breland’s discharge.
Prior to the discharge, Breland and Damiens were given polygraph examinations, with Breland’s polygraph results indicating him to be “untruthful” during the examination.
Damiens later testified that she had sexual relations with Breland “pretty often,” including in his patrol car, with him in uniform on at least one occasion. She also testified that Breland “fixed” several other tickets that she had received for traffic violations.
Breland denied that he had sexual contact with Damiens while on duty, and said he ended the relationship in the summer of 2012 after he discovered Damiens had stolen items from his home and was using methamphetamine.
Damiens stated that during her initial questioning, she had been under the influence of drugs she had used the night before.
The affirmation was signed by Justices Joseph Lee, Tyree Irving, Kenneth Griffis, Donna Barnes, Virginia Carlton, Jack Wilson, Jim Greenlee, Latrice Westbrooks and Sean Tindell.