Commonwealth Journal

Local News

October 2, 2013

Terminated police chief at odds with mayor over Eubank’s resources


Eubank —

“The city has in effect (a law) as far as mowing grass for people who ask for it,” he said. “The city charges for it, people pay for it. As long as they pay the bill, there’s not any abuse going on, according to the rules (Eubank) has in effect. Nobody uses any equipment or mowers unless they pay the bill. ... There’s nothing wrong with it when they do that.”
As such, Todd said that Blanton is “wrong” in his allegations.
“What he’s thinking, there’s not much truth to it,” said Todd.
Bruce Orwin, a local lawyer who also serves as Eubank’s city attorney, said that as far as he knew, Todd was correct about the city’s pay-for-use policy, and that it did not violate any state laws.
Orwin also said that all city employees’ services are at the whim of the mayor, and if Todd felt that Blanton wasn’t doing his job, that the mayor could terminate him.
Blanton said that he was released without notice and without the city council knowing anything about it.
“I question how many did know,” he said. “Maybe one or two.”
City councilor Connie Belcher contacted the Commonwealth Journal Wednesday and said that she hadn’t known anything about Blanton’s firing until after the fact.
“Friday morning, Chief Blanton came into my grocery and showed me the (newspaper article) saying he’d been terminated,” she said. “We (the council) never discussed anything about his dismissal, nothing to do with his ethics. I record all the meetings, but I can’t seem to come up with anything. He did a good job as far as I know.”
She said that when Blanton was hired, the council called a special meeting for a Saturday and voted to hire him. She noted that while the mayor may have the power to make the decisions on his own, “it maybe would have been considerate and polite (to bring the termination to the council) so we all could have been aware.”

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