Grantville police chief suspended
by Celia Shortt
Grantville Police Chief Doug Jordan was suspended without pay for one calendar week at Monday’s city council meeting. The reason for Jordan’s suspension was that he violated a policy given by City Manager Johnny Williams.
“I require all my employees to inform me of anything that is not routine in nature,” Williams said. “A trip to Arizona and an article in the paper that was not discussed with me or the police committee is not routine.”
Recently, Jordan traveled to Arizona to meet with “America’s Toughest Sheriff, Joe Arpaio.” Following their meeting, Jordan expressed his hopes to establish Grantville’s own drug team. He also planned to have some of his officers travel to Arizona for training.
During his comments at the council meeting, Council member Johnny Cooks shared his lack of support for Jordan’s actions and plans.
“I was not very pleased by it,” he said. “I was not in support of it. I am not in support of this kind of news by police officers representing the Grantville uniform without the council or city manager’s approval. His representation here and implications of things we are going to be doing in our community is not something that we were aware of.”
“It ain’t going to happen,” he added. “This story ain’t going to happen if I got anything to do with it.”
Following a closed session to discuss personnel at the end of the meeting, the city council voted 2-1 to suspend the police chief for a calendar week without pay.
Mayor Jim Sells is on vacation and was not at the meeting. Selma Coty served as Mayor Pro-Tem and in that role could only vote in case of a tie.
“There was a quorum,” said Coty. “Mr. Cooks and Mr. Lundy voted in favor of the recommendation. Mrs. Jabaley voted against the recommendation. If I had not been in the chair, I, too, would have voted against the recommendation.”
Despite not being at the city council meeting, Mayor Sells gave his opinion about the suspension.
“I am appalled at the council's decision to suspend our police chief without pay,” he said in an email.
“I believe Councilmen Cooks and Lundy have put their personal agenda ahead of the citizens’ best interest in Grantville. They have taken advantage of my absence on vacation and are abusing a dedicated city employee. Chief Jordan has my full support. He has the support of his staff and the community because of the job he is doing. At the next council meeting, with the full council present, I will ask to have his lost pay restored."
Chief Jordan will return to the office on Tuesday.
“I hope that’s the end of it,” said Williams. “He is an excellent chief. We all make mistakes. You make mistakes and learn from the consequences. I expect to see him next week back in the office.”
Sergeant William Baker will serve as Interim Chief of Police.