published Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Red Bank officer resigns after months of controversy


by Chris Carroll

The police officer behind several chaotic Red Bank happenings — the sudden firing of former Police Chief Larry Sneed, seven-figure lawsuits and a warrantless search into the wrong home, to name a few — resigned Monday after learning his work schedule changed.

"I am the only one they moved," Officer Bradley Hanon said.

He's also upset that one of his new partners is Officer Tammie Delashmitt, a key figure in a lawsuit that he filed against Red Bank.

"They put me on a shift with a girl I brought a lawsuit on," he said. "Seem logical?"

Recently sworn-in Police Chief Tim Christol denied an attempt to force Hanon's resignation, claiming that the personnel move came from a need to pair "tactically strong officers" — Hanon — with those who are stronger on "the legal side."

"Everyone started on level ground. I wasn't here for what happened before," said Christol, who started in November.

City Manager Chris Dorsey, who is named as a defendant in Hanon's lawsuit, said he "absolutely did not discuss" changing Hanon's schedule with Christol.

"I'm sure the chief had his reasons," Dorsey said Monday.

Asked whether he believed Hanon's departure was best for both the officer and the city, Dorsey said: "I have no comment on that."

Hanon's Red Bank tenure began in 2003, but he began making headlines last July. Acting as the self-proclaimed "voice" of several disaffected police officers, he successfully lobbied at least two Red Bank commissioners to work toward Sneed's dismissal.

Sneed supervised two arrests of Mayor Monty Millard, and the former chief's lawyers have said Hanon's claims masked political motivations to get rid of Sneed.

Four days after Sneed's firing, Hanon accused former Mayor Joe Glasscock — a Sneed ally — of assaulting him in the City Hall parking lot. Hanon cited the incident when he took a voluntary 60-day break in August.

Glasscock has denied Hanon's accusations.

Days into his leave of absence, Hanon filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against Sneed, Dorsey and several other city employees, alleging that keeping Sneed around led to "defamation, humiliation and mental anguish" for Hanon.

Hanon said the Glasscock incident was one example of retaliation.

The lawsuit alleges that Hanon exposed an illegal DUI arrest and detainment that Delashmitt supervised in Soddy-Daisy -- miles outside Red Bank's jurisdiction.

Delashmitt subsequently filed a harassment complaint against Hanon.

"I find it very difficult to believe [changing my shift] was innocent in nature," Hanon wrote Saturday in a resignation letter to Christol.

He added that his contentious history with Delashmitt indicated that "the decision to place us on the same shift was done for reasons other than a simple reassignment."

"It saddens me to see that the city of Red Bank will once again force my hand into resignation," Hanon wrote.

His letter states another officer asked to have his shift changed, only to have Christol turn him down.

Christol said that statement wasn't true, calling it "somewhat disingenuous."

Hanon is finishing an unpaid 30-day suspension for allowing two bail bondsman to search three homes without a search warrant, consent or life-or-death circumstances.

Cpl. Rebecca Chauncey was fired for her role in the incident. Officer Eric Massengale received the same 30-day suspension as Hanon.

Christol said additional constitutional law training now will be mandatory for the entire force.

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honest1 said...

Wow...this city never stops. Seems like we need a new city manager, he continues to push the city in a negative direction. When will the comissioners do something about this. We, citizens will be the ones paying out the money for the lawsuits.

January 11, 2011 at 7:26 p.m.
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