A civil trial to formally oust from office former Texas County sheriff James Sigman, 49, arrested in July 2018 has been set for Jan. 29 through 31 in Phelps County. The case will be presided over by 25th Judicial District Circuit Judge John Beger.
Sigman’s arrest and the motion to remove him from office came after an investigation by the Missouri State Highway Patrol into allegations that included abuse of jail inmates and unlawful use of a weapon.
Motion hearings are also scheduled for Jan. 29 in Phelps County for Sigman and codefendent Jennifer Tomaszewski, 39, in the criminal trial related to their charges.
Tomaszewski was chief deputy at the time of her arrest, also in July 2018, and the two have each been charged with first-degree assault, first-degree robbery, first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, unlawful use of a weapon, felony harassment and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, plus misdemeanor charges of misuse of official information by a public servant and false impersonation.
The two were reportedly in a romantic relationship that began around the time Tomaszewski was hired as a deputy, and she was promoted to “chief deputy” immediately after her graduation from the Missouri Sheriff’s Academy.
She had been employed as a jailer in December 2016 and graduated from the sheriff’s academy May 24, 2018. Months of investigation by the patrol allegedly uncovered evidence Tomaszewski had acted as an undercover officer while not a commissioned officer, had pointed a firearm at a group of witnesses to a drug raid, assaulted a mentally disabled inmate after he had been rendered unconscious, threatened another inmate and brought a child to the jail on multiple occasions where she was exposed to unsecured inmates, including sexually violent offenders.
The robbery charge was filed after Tomaszewski allegedly confiscated a cell phone from a witness present at a drug raid after she had pointed a gun at a group of them because she believed they were taking photos of the raid, which they were legally allowed to do.
Reports of alleged inmate abuse by Tomaszewski had also reportedly been inaccurate and some of the reports regarding incidents of inmate abuse had gone missing, according to the patrol’s investigation.
Sigman reportedly had witnessed the incidents or had knowledge of them and did nothing to intervene. Each of them were released on $500,000 bail shortly after their arrests.