Thursday, February 21, 2008

Former Joplin police chief keeps Fort Smith job by one vote

Former Joplin Police Chief Kevin Lindsey is still running the police department in Fort Smith, Ark., as he survived an attempt to remove him.
The Joplin Globe reports three members of the Fort Smith Board of Directors voted to get rid of Lindsey, but four votes were needed:

Several hundred supporters crowded into Fort Smith City Hall in a gesture of solidarity with Lindsey, Maddox said. Many police officers and other supporters wore black shirts stating “I Support Chief Lindsey.” A petition of support with more than 1,000 signatures also was presented.

“I knew a lot of people were going to show up, but I was a little surprised at the number,” Maddox said. “It was just astounding.”

The meeting capped a day of political tumult that included the abrupt resignation of City Administrator Randy Reed, who was going to recommend that the Board of Directors fire Lindsey. Reed’s resignation took effect immediately, and he did not attend the meeting Tuesday night, Maddox said.

Cole Goodman, another member of the Board of Directors, also announced his resignation Tuesday, although he did attend the meeting later that night. He abstained from voting when it came to Lindsey, Maddox said.

Velvet Barrows, another director and the wife of a former police officer who was fired by Lindsey, did not attend the meeting. Barrows said she wrote a statement that was read at the meeting in which she said she did not attend because of fears for her personal safety.

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