Sardis city board fires police chief 7/5/2013

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sardis city board fires police chief

By David Howell and Rupert Howell

The search for a new police chief in Sardis got under way Wednesday morning after John Deal was not rehired in Tuesday night’s Board of Aldermen meeting.

“The board voted to rehire everybody except for the police chief,” newly elected Mayor Billy Russell explained.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Discussion about the police chief position, a long meeting agenda and numerous questions from a board that included two new aldermen and a new mayor pushed the meeting until almost 1 a.m., according to Russell.

Chris Martin, a current employee in the department, was appointed interim chief.
The meeting marked the start of a new four-year term and one order of business was to rehire all city employees.

The board voted to go into executive session about two hours into the meeting and met behind closed doors for the remaining hours of the meeting.

According to board attorney Tommy Shuler, only three motions were considered during the closed door session.

A motion by Alderman Jojo Still to rehire Deal failed for lack of a second. Motions to rehire other department heads and the city clerk and another motion to rehire all other city employees passed unanimously.

“Several of us are new and asked a lot of questions,” Russell explained.

Russell confirmed a motion was made to rehire Deal, but was not seconded and died.
Deal was hired in November 2011 succeeding former sheriff Otis Griffin who served in interim as the town’s police chief while he was also sheriff.      

Posting on the department’s Facebook page, Deal thanked the people of Sardis for supporting him during his time as chief.

“You have a great town and I wish you all God’s graces,” Deal wrote.

Board members also approved Deal’s recommendation to hire a part-time police officer during the executive session according to Shuler.