Maryland Heights citizens demand answers about suspended officer -

Maryland Heights citizens demand answers about suspended officer, police audit

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MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo ( -- The second in command at the Maryland Heights Police Department is still out on leave. Thursday night, his lawyer-and the community- are demanding to know why.

In addition to that, both parties want answers as to why the city is spending $45,000 on another audit of the police department.

On September 12, the City of Maryland Heights reinstated the police chief, but Major Joe Delia remains suspended.

At a city council meeting Thursday, residents defended Delia while calling for answers.

“He’s a good man, he’s got an exemplary record and he should be back on the police force helping the chief run it,” said one resident.

In additions to questions about Delia, the audit also had the citizenry upset.

“When I see useless wastes of citizens money, I feel something needs to be said,” said another resident. “I feel the mayor and the city council are not being good stewards of our taxpayer money.”

The city says a preliminary review cleared Police Chief Bill Carson of any wrongdoing. They reinstated him Monday. The only explanation the city has given about the review is to say it stemmed from complaints of a potentially unfair work environment.

“They can remove him from office, they don’t have to tell him why they’re removing him from his position as a law enforcement officer and still he gets no appellate rights,” said Delia’s attorney, Chet Pleban.  

Pleban says they've received letters from the city manager saying the deputy chief can not appeal the suspension because it is quote "not discipline."

"Our position is look, you have something you want to accuse him of, bring it on we have said it before, we have no problem having a public hearing,” said Pleban.

The attorney has called the incident the product of a power struggle over an alleged attempt to cut police officers, something Delia and the chief oppose. City leaders deny that is the case.

News 4 will keep you updated as this story develops.  

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