Last week, I had the privilege to be a part of the government process in which a public hearing was held at a local council meeting. At issue was the unfavorable termination of a well-beloved police chief by the city manager and city staff. I did not know the circumstances behind the situation but I felt that something was not quite right about it all.
So I attended this meeting to hear, for myself, the facts and provide support for a man whom I know personally. His character and integrity was above reproach yet somehow, the city staff disagreed.
I do not wish to re-hash the entire meeting but I must point out that the council chambers, which could only seat a little over 100 people was filled completely. The rest of us had to go to the overfill room where it was packed with another 50+ individuals (not including the ones who chose to stand outside in the cold). Needless to say, it was well attended and poorly planned by the council and staff.
The facts were first presented by the city staff with video as apparent proof of the incident. Taking that without any further discussion, one would draw the conclusion that the police chief had violated some serious rules. However, the chief’s personal attorney stepped up to the podium and presented the other side of the story. It was a solid case, good questions, and plenty of logical proof that what the public saw and heard that evening from the city staff and council was, in fact, manipulated to defame a chief who is full of integrity, compassion, loyal to the public he served, and an honest person.
The open forum was stacked with speakers, both friends and strangers, who gave the same common theme – the city staff and city council were unprofessional and untrustworthy in their overall handling of the situation. Many pleaded with the council members to overturn the city manager’s decision of terminating their beloved chief of police. Well, after 4.5 hours of testimony and discussion, the vote was cast in favor of reinstating the police chief and placing him on administrative duty (it was a worker’s compensation issue).
The right decision was made that evening as the evil intentions of the city manager and city attorney were exposed by the light of truth and justice. I was very happy for my friend but more importantly, happy that this town has its most effective police chief reinstated for the good of the people.
As for the city manager, city attorney, and council members, let’s just say that their fates will be determined by the people in the next election and in my opinion, it could get very ugly!