Town suspends officer, warns superiors

INGALLS — The Ingalls Town Council met in executive session recently to consider a complaint against a police lieutenant, and in a following special session it handed down a five-day suspension against the officer, a verbal warning to his captain and a written warning to the chief of police.

Council President Tim Green said the complaint came from the handling of a domestic dispute in which a restraining order had been issued.

Green said Lieutenant James Doty did not follow procedure regarding enforcement of restraining orders and communication back and forth after an order is issued.

Doty, who has about 15 years with the Ingalls Police Department, including time as a reserve officer before he was hired on the force, was given a five-day suspension without pay, according to Green.

No one was put at immediate risk because of the situation, Green said. He declined to give more details.

Assistant Chief Chris Thompson, who is Doty’s immediate supervisor, was given a verbal warning. and Chief Rick Martin was handed a written warning.

“We felt it was appropriate to take action with the warnings on Chris (Thompson) and the chief because Chris is the assistant and bears some responsibility, and the final responsibility rests with the chief,” Green said.

Town manager Tim Millikan said Friday, Jan. 20, that a resignation had been received from a council member during the week of Jan. 16, but he deferred to Green for more details. Green said he received a copy of Councilwoman Dusty Smith’s resignation from Madison County Clerk Darlene Likens.

“She didn’t really give a reason. She just said she was happy to serve the town and was resigning effective Jan. 6,” Green said.

Smith took her seat on the council initially after being appointed to complete the term of a former councilman. She was elected in November 2015 to her first full term.

Green said the task falls to Madison County Republican Chairman Russ Willis to aid in the search for a new council member.

The council had several meetings set for January to deal with personnel needs. Prior to the executive and special sessions of Jan. 16, the Council met in special session Jan. 14 to act on a proposed salary ordinance, according to clerk-treasurer Kip Golden.

Golden said the ordinance includes raises for the town clerk, utility workers and the town manager.

“Our clerk-treasurer, utility clerk and other people got 3 percent and the town manager got 5 percent. We held off on the police department because of the other things going on. It will be reviewed in 60 days,” Green said.

Golden said the ordinance has to be advertised before it becomes final. Another January meeting was set for Jan. 30.