Archive for Friday, March 14, 2008

McLouth suspends police chief

March 14, 2008

McLouth's police chief has been put on leave.

McLouth Mayor Mike Graveman said Friday that he informed Chief Tom Burns that he was being put on leave for four days and that he would be able to return to his position Monday.

Graveman declined to release any specifics about Burns' suspension. The mayor also said Wade Noll, a deputy with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, no longer is working in any capacity for the McLouth department. Noll had been logging hours patrolling for McLouth Police in addition to his county position.

"Those two actions happened because of different actions and different reasons," Graveman said. "They were not related."

The city council met Wednesday for a special meeting to discuss non-elected personnel and attorney-client privilege, Graveman said. But he declined to say whether Burns' situation was discussed, citing that it was a privacy matter of an employee.

"I can't discuss the decision-making process, but I talked to Tom myself," said Graveman, noting that Burns did not meet with the council.

Danny Ruff, a Tonganoxie police officer, is serving as acting police chief. Ruff also works part-time in McLouth.

Citizens have raised concerns regarding a lack of police protection in the city with the absence of Burns and Noll.

Graveman said police protection would not change, as a part-time officer would be patrolling this weekend. He also noted that Burns, who is paid on an hourly basis, does not work weekend shifts. Burns could not be reached for comment on the matter.

McLouth will hold its next regular meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at city hall, 110 N. Union.

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