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Forum News Service, Published May 21 2013

Duluth police officer pleads guilty to collision

DULUTH, Minn. - A Duluth police officer accused of twice backing his personal car into another vehicle in a parking lot outside a bar and leaving the scene while off duty admitted to his crime Tuesday in State District Court.

Brian Scott Jones, 50, pleaded guilty to the crime he was charged with -- collision with an unattended vehicle, a misdemeanor.

He was sentenced to 60 days in jail, but the time was stayed for one year of probation and 50 hours of community service. As conditions of his probation, he was told to have no same or similar violations. He was fined $585.

Jones, who was Duluth’s Police Officer of the Year in 2006 when he worked as the Lincoln Park neighborhood officer, earlier apologized to the owner of the vehicle he hit, his family, co-workers, police administration and to the public. He said he made an error in judgment.

Jones has returned to duty after being placed on administrative leave.

Jones was not in his car when police responded to Mitch’s bar March 14 after receiving a report of a hit and run that just occurred to an unoccupied parked vehicle. An investigation by Duluth police revealed that Jones had backed his car into the parked vehicle twice.