Cases could be jeopardized after ex-Longwood police chief allegedly hired felon for bribes

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LONGWOOD, Fla. - 9 Investigates has learned Longwood's former police chief is accused of hiring a convicted felon as an officer and then took thousands of dollars in bribes from the man.

Channel 9's Ryan Hughes found former Longwood police Chief Thomas Jackson allegedly went to great lengths to keep the situation under wraps.

The federal court indictment lists the scathing allegations against Jackson, saying he violated federal law when he hired convicted felon Samer Majzoub while obtaining federal grant money.

A grand jury agreed that Jackson used his position as chief to solicit and obtain bribes and gratuities from Majzoub in return for appointing him as a Longwood officer.

The documents said the officer gave money to the chief in exchange for assisting the officer in obtaining guns and ammunition, which was in violation of his probation.

Jackson for Majzoub credentials from the police department, which identified Majzoub as an officer, according to the documents.

The chief allegedly went to great lengths to swear in the officer even though Majzoub was ineligible to be a law enforcement officer in Florida.

Jackson is also accused of asking that the Majzoub's name be removed from a public agenda announcing new officers, which was allegedly done to conceal athe appointment, Hughes said.

The documents state Majzoub gave the chief at least $32,000 before and after he became a cop. Majzoub eventually climbed the ranks to become a commander while Jackson went on to become the police chief in Belle Isle.

“The fallout from this case could be widespread,” said WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer.

Sheaffer said it means cases the officer was part of could be tossed out.

“Because of the hiring of a person who’s a convicted felon, otherwise good cases may well be compromised and guilty people may walk,” he said.

In August, Channel 9 reported how Jackson abruptly retired.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating Jackson for allegedly ordering an officer to "unarrest" a suspect and because he told co-workers not to do a full background check on officers he hired from Longwood.

Jackson served as police chief in Longwood from 1997-2010.