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Ellis resigns as Police Chief
Tuesday, 07.08.2014, 12:49pm (GMT-5)
By Kelly Rupp
Minco Police Chief William Ellis submitted his resignation from the elected position of Police Chief and the salaried position of Watch Commander and asked the Minco City Council to accept his voluntary demotion to patrolman.
The Council voted to keep Ellis on as Partolman at reduced pay of $28,000 annual salary and to name Brian Hau Watch Commander at $32,000 annual salary.
The Chief of Police will remain open.
The July 7 agenda listed an executive session for discussion and possible action to accept the voluntary demotion of Ellis from Chief of Police and Shift Commander to Patrolman and discussion and possible action to appoint Captain Brian Hau as the Acting Chief of Police and Watch Commander.
“...it is hard to ignore the growing dissatisfaction with the department, under my leadership. Therefore, after careful deliberation, I have decided to vacate my position as Chief of Police/Watch Commander; it is my considered opinion that I can better serve my adopted hometown in the capacity of Patrolman,” Ellis said in his letter of resignation.
Ellis was elected Police Chief in the April 2013 election after the position was vacated by the resignation of Phil Blevins, who resigned to join the Grady County Sheriff’s Department. Ellis acted as Watch Commander from January 2013 and then assumed the position of Police Chief after the election. He ran for the position without opposition.
The elected Police Chief position, which carries a salary of one dollar a year, may only be removed from office for ceasing to be a resident and registered voter in the municipality, criminal activity, or action by the Attorney General or District Attorney.
Ellis’ Watch Commander position, however, which carries a full-time salary and benefits, has been under scrutiny since a March agenda included an executive session to discuss “The demotion, disciplining, or termination of William Ellis.” The item was placed on the agenda by Council Member Dena Sanford and Mayor Watson Mitchell.
The Council voted 7-0 to formally reprimand Ellis for “lack of documentation, poor judgement and not doing his duty, with a recommendation to review” Ellis in 60 days at the June meeting. Council Member Calvin Woodworth made the motion and Council Member Keith McMullen seconded it. The 60-day review was tabled at the June meeting.
The Council has 60 days to appoint a Chief of Police. The person appointed must meet all the qualifications for candidacy to the elected position, which require that the candidate be a resident and registered voter within the municipality for six months. The Chief must be a certified Chief of Police within one year of assuming the office.
If the Council does not appoint a Chief of Police within 60 days, a special election must be held to fill the position.