Former Fort Oglethorpe Police Chief David Eubanks and Public Works Director Jeff Long will appeal their recent firings at daytime hearings April 22.
The men lost their jobs at a special March 22 City Council meeting at which Mayor Lynn Long and Councilmen Louis Hamm and Johnnie "Red" Smith forced former City Manager Ron Goulart to resign.
Over the objections of Councilman Earl Gray, the City Council appointed Harold Silcox as interim city manager that night, and Silcox fired Long and Eubanks as his first order of business.
Supporters of Goulart, Eubanks and Long have packed City Council meetings since then carrying "RECALL" signs and angrily protesting the employees' sudden dismissal.
Under the City Charter, Eubanks and Jeff Long had the right to appeal their firings. Both men are being represented by Ringgold, Ga., attorney McCracken Poston.
The City Council will hear Jeff Long's appeal at 11 a.m. and Eubanks' at 1 p.m. in council chambers. The hearings are open to the public.
City Attorney Robert Stultz will act as a prosecutor.
"The ... 'judges' are all of the council members," Stultz said.
Mayor Long said he's looking forward to airing the firings.
"It needs to be laid to rest for the good of the city and the good of the employees," he said.
The mayor said Jeff Long, who serves as a Catoosa County commissioner, was let go because he supported the deannexation of 42 acres of prime commercial real estate from the city into the county. A developer wanted the land deannexed to attract restaurants and retailers because the county allows Sunday alcohol sales, and the city doesn't.
Stultz said Eubanks and Jeff Long were given letters explaining what sections of the City Charter they violated.
Jeff Long doesn't believe he was fired for his deannexation vote.
"I think's it's more of an excuse than a reason," he said. "More will come out at the appeal."
Neither Eubanks nor Poston could be reached for comment.
Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at email@example.com or 423-757-6651.
Tim Omarzu covers Catoosa and Walker counties for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California. Stories he's covered include crime in blighted parts of metro Detroit and Reno, Nev.; environmental activists tree-sitting in California's Sierra Nevada foothills; attempts by the Michigan Militia to take over a township¹s government in northern Michigan. A native of Michigan, ...