A Desert Hot Springs police officer is at the center of an internal investigation regarding his alleged romantic relationship with a woman who was reportedly providing the department with information on criminal activity.

The officer was placed on administrative leave due to recently received information regarding his alleged “inappropriate conduct with a citizen,” according to a police department statement.

The department has not publicly identified the officer, but The Desert Sun identified him as Travis Chapman.

The newspaper reported Tuesday that copies of text messages between Chapman and the unidentified woman were anonymously sent to Police Chief Dale Mondary on Sept. 16, allegedly showing that she had provided Chapman with information regarding local criminal activity, and that they were involved in a romantic relationship.

As part of a “supervisory inquiry,” the woman was interviewed twice and “both times she denied any inappropriate conduct on behalf of the officer,” according to the police department. The newspaper received new information regarding the officer’s conduct sometime between the end of the department’s initial inquiry in September and Monday, when Mondary gave an interview to the newspaper, the statement says.

According to the police department, a Desert Sun reporter recently spoke with the woman, during which she provided an account that conflicted with her initial statements. As a result, “the department command staff met (Monday) afternoon and determined that in light of this new information, a formal Internal Affairs investigation was warranted.”

The officer will remain on leave pending the results of the investigation, according to the department.

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