Video: Aberdeen Aldermen Punish Chief

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ABERDEEN, Miss. (WCBI) — Tired of ongoing disagreements that date back more than two years, Aberdeen aldermen have cut police chief Henry Randle’s pay in half and banned him from driving a city vehicle.

But in a show of defiance,  Randle from leaving today’s special board meeting in a city police car.

Randle made more than $50,000 a year before the cut, but it’s not clear if the aldermen can enforce either action. Both sides were consulting attorneys this afternoon.

The dispute has been building for years as aldermen and Randle, who is elected, have clashed. Aldermen tried to start hiring the chief more than two years ago but the issue died when Randle got enough signatures to call for a public vote. After the latest issues, they are researching once again how to change the city from a special charter to a code charter with a hired chief.

Almost every aldermen meeting in the last year has involved some police issue either in public or executive session and board members repeatedly have told Randle he needs to be more cooperative.

Randle got in trouble last fall with the state ethics commission for hiring his brother-in-law and having his wrecker service answer police calls.

Also last fall, a dispute with building inspector and codes officer David Low resulted in Low pressing charges against the chief. That case is set for a March 16 hearing.

Tuesday and today, aldermen fired auxiliary officer Chris Dobbins and full-time officer Lee Johnson for rules violations and lack of performance. Dobbins exceeded the 19 hours a month allowed for auxiliary officers and Johnson was fired for lack of faith and job performance, aldermen said.

They also reinstated Major Quinnel Shumpert with back pay, saying Randle didn’t have the authority to suspend him January 23.


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