Thursday, July 22, 2010
fires police chief
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
SEVEN POINTSSeven Points police chief Brad McConahay is no longer with the department.
Mayor Joe Dobbs terminated his employment July 17 for no confidence. McConahay suffered a broken foot in the line of duty in April. He has been on light duty since then.
Former Dallas police officer Jeffery Jack Nelson is currently serving as police chief.
According to the Texas Commisison on Law Enforcement Officer Standards-Education, Nelsons employment with the Dallas PD ended in March, 2008. He was a senior corporal.
His fellow officers accused him and two others of misconduct. The news of the blue-on-blue accusations appeared in the Dallas Morning News March 21, 2007.
According to TCLEOSE records, Nelson hasnt worked as a police officer since March 28, 2008. (See article from Brad McConahays viewpoint on page 4A.)
Monday was Nelsons first day on the job as city police chief, and he was reviewing the files of the citys officers.
Mike Tayem was hired over the weekend as a police lieutenant.
Im impressed with the people here and feel their achievements have been under-documented, Nelson told The Monitor.
The employment of long-time city secretary Debbie Mosley was terminated June 22. Her termination letter states the reason as just cause, due to repeated violations of the Cities (sic) personnel policies.
Mosley told The Monitor that she immediately asked Dobbs what repeated violations she had committed. Mosely said she was told to put her request in writing, and she would get a response in a timely manner.
Mosley delivered the written request, along with her intent to appeal the firing to Dobbs the next day, she said.
As of presstime late Tuesday, Mosley has not received a reply, nor has her request to be put on the councils agenda to air her appeal answered.
The citys employee policy describes a three-step employee grievance process, and allows those terminated from city employment the opportunity to appeal such termination to the council.
Under former mayor Gerald Taylor, at least two employees appealed to the council in recent years. The council heard their appeals in executive sessions, Taylor told The Monitor.
Taylor never fired people without talking to council members individually of his concerns, councilman Hank Laywell told The Monitor.
Taylor told The Monitor he gave things like firing someone lengthy consideration, and consulted with the council about such situations as they arose.
When he did fire an individual, Taylor said he referred the matter back to the council as an agenda item, to ratify or overturn his actions.
I will not put on the agenda anything limiting the mayors powers or bringing back an ex-employee, Dobbs told The Monitor. Were not going back to a Gerald Taylor way of doing business.
At the first city council meeting following the election May 14, and prior to administering the oath of office to Dobbs, the council considered an agenda item placed there by then mayor pro-tem Tommy Taylor.
The item read discuss and approve the city council as administrative board form of government. The full city council approves all purchases and other administrative details, and department heads report directly to the council at every regular meeting.
The council chamber was full of noisy people with a festive and rowdy atmosphere May 14.
Council members Cheryl Jones and Laywell told The Monitor that twice during the meeting, two audience members shouted out taunts at them, asking Are you scared yet? You should be!
A disorderly and raucous discussion between the council and the audience followed, with Thompson twice ordering the crowd to settle down.
Laywell told The Monitor that he had questioned the necessity of putting that item on the agenda, because the city already had a strong council form of government.
Tommy Taylor insisted that it be on the agenda, Laywell said. I can only assume it was done in order to give the mayor special power.
Tommy Taylor made a motion amending the item to add authorize the new mayor to suspend employees before council approval. The motion was defeated 3-2.
The mayor was not authorized to suspend employment, Jones pointed out.
Laywell told The Monitor that at the time he (Laywell) specifically said, Its been rumored that wholesale firing of everybody at city hall was going to happen when Dobbs took over (as mayor). Do we need to do something more to ensure that doesnt happen? (Tommy) Taylor responded with some sarcastic remark, and moved the meeting along to the next item on the agenda.
Fourteen days after being sworn into office, Dobbs put Mosley on suspension. He handed her a letter putting her on a three-day suspension immediately after the May 28 called meeting was cancelled for lack of a quorum.
Dobbs, McConahay and another officer entered Mosleys office around 7:10 p.m. to deliver the letter to her. Just outside, a crowd of people gathered from the aborted meeting.
I feel that Joe waited until he had the presence of the news media and about 50 citizens to take action against me, Mosley said in a written statement about the incident.
The timing of this action and the presence of two police officers was not a disciplinary action, but an act of intimidation, abuse of official authority and misconduct, intending to cause me public ridicule, embarrassment and undue stress and to show his voters he was fulfilling his campaign promise to fire me, Mosley wrote, even though the council denied him the authority to suspend an employee before coming to the council first for approval.
Editors note: A second article recounting the events leading up to Dobbs suspending Mosley and ultimately dismissing her June 22 will appear in the Sunday, July 25, issue of The Monitor.
ESD wins protest
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