By Ronnie Moore
The Fort Oglethorpe City Council voted 3-2 late Thursday to uphold the demotion for insubordination of former Police Chief Doug Howell to captain.
The decision to back the demotion ordered by City Manager James Dinley followed between four and five hours of testimony and 40 mintues deliberation behind closed doors.
Councilmen Harold Silcox, Richard Egeland and Jane Moye voted to uphold the disciplinary action of Mr. Dinley, while Councilmen Steve Brandon and Louis Hamm voted no.
Mr. Howell said he believes the fact he didnt agree to fix a speeding ticket for the mayors wife was the real reason he was demoted.
Mr. Howell said the day he was demoted he received a telephone call from Deborah Burkhart, Mayor Judd Burkharts wife, saying she knew he had been demoted.
I asked how she knew when there had been no news reports of my demotion, he said. She said Judd had called and left a message saying he just fired the ... police chief and she had better watch her step with the police.
City Attorney Ron Goulart said, The issue isnt whether directed changes in the police department from Mr. Dinley are good ideas, but insubordination. If you want this form of government to be strong then back the city manager.
For complete details, see Saturdays Times Free Press.
E-mail Ronnie Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org