Byrnes Mill police chief: I was fired so the city could save money

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on October 2, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 3 at 4:35 AM

BYRNES MILL, Mo (KMOV.com) -- Byrnes Mill Police Chief Ed Locke says he was getting ready to resign to take another job but before he could turn in his notice he was fired for no reason.

If what he says is true, it’s a bold move on the part of the city of to save some money.

The Byrnes Mill board of aldermen held a closed session meeting at the home of one of the aldermen on Sunday.

On Monday, Locke was told he’d been fired and was escorted from the city hall building. He was relieved of his duties effective immediately and Lieutenant Mike Smith was made acting chief as the search begins for Locke’s replacement.

Locke tells News 4 that he believes he was fired so the town wouldn’t have to pay him for his unused sick days and vacation.  

City Administrator Larry Perney declined to talk on camera saying he had other commitments and couldn’t say much because it was a personnel matter. 

He did release a statement saying the board voted to audit the police department, saying that it’s “being done to examine the police department’s policies and procedures.”

But the former chief says during his time with Byrnes Mill he was only abiding by policies and procedures that were in place within the department.

Byrnes mill is a bedroom community of about 2,800 tucked away in the northwest corner of Jefferson County.

News 4 also talked with Mayor Susan Gibson Tuesday about whether a police chief would be eligible for severance pay if they were fired.  She said she would not go on camera or say anything beyond what was already in the printed statement released by the city.

 

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