Another Chattanooga police officer suspended without pay after internal investigation

Another Chattanooga police officer suspended without pay after internal investigation

February 7th, 2019 by Rosana Hughes in Breaking News

This story was updated Feb. 7, 2019, at 3:06 p.m. with more information.

Another Chattanooga police officer has been suspended after allegations against him were sustained following an internal investigation.

Officer Ricky Ballard was suspended for 160 hours without pay — the maximum suspension — on Feb. 1 for unbecoming conduct.

It's not clear exactly what Ballard's offense was, but, according to the department's code of conduct, "unbecoming conduct" includes "conduct that is unlawful and/or brings the Department into disrepute, reflects discredit upon the employee as a member of the Department, or impairs the operation or efficiency of the Department or officer."

Ballard's suspension was effective immediately, police spokeswoman Elisa Myzal said.

Ballard is the fifth Chattanooga police officer to be disciplined just this year.

Officer Daniel Mitchum was terminated on Jan. 18 following an internal investigation after he was involved in a crash near Exit 4 on Interstate 75 while driving a patrol car on Aug. 24, 2018.

Then on Jan. 31, two Chattanooga police officers — Benjamin Dessalines and Cameka Bruce — were fired during separate disciplinary review hearings. A third officer, Desmond Logan, resigned the same day just minutes before his disciplinary hearing.

Both Dessalines and Logan are facing separate criminal investigations. Dessalines is accused sexual battery, and Logan is accused of rape. But the resignation and firing are not directly connected to the criminal cases, Myzal said.

Bruce was initially investigated over allegations of missing evidence and improper use of overtime. As a result of the investigation, she was offered a last-chance agreement, which puts an officer on notice that future misconduct could result in immediate demotion or termination. But she was fired after sustained allegations of insubordination and untruthfulness.

This is a developing story.