TOP PHOTO: LaFollette has a new chief of police, Steve Wallen (left), and is congratulated by retiring Chief Bill Roehl (right.) (PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF’S CHARLIE HUTSON)
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Within 15 minutes yesterday, a new police chief was appointed and two officers were fired. In a unanimous decision, the council voted to appoint Capt. Steve Wallen as police chief to replace Chief Bill Roehl who is retiring. Councilman Wayne Kitts requested to suspend the rules to discuss a report that had been received earlier in the day. The report was from a private investigator who had been hired by the city to investigate a grievance that had been filed by Detective-Staff Sgt. Charles Duff. The grievance alleged that he had been harassed by fellow officers Monty Miller and Brian Tiller. The council voted to fire Miller and Tiller based on the findings in the report.
When the grievance was brought to City Administrator Stan Foust, Foust conferred with City Attorney Reid Troutman. Foust and Troutman agreed that hiring an outside firm/investigator would be best for all concerned. Foust polled the City Council and each agreed to bring in an investigator. READ MORE below to see the grievance and the results from the investigation. This is an update that includes the full documents as of 08/03/2022-11AM)
“The city made the right choice with Steve (Wallen), and he’ll take command on Aug. 13,” said retiring chief Bill Roehl.
Wallen has been with the LPD 14 years. “I’ll follow Chief Roehl’s lead and continue to move the department forward,” said Wallen.
In other personnel matters, April Marlow was promoted to full time janitorial at a salary of $25,470.64 effective Aug. 13. The fire department had three promotions on the agenda, Ryan Wagner was promoted to full-time entry-level fire fighter/ advanced EMT at a salary of $32,577.47 effective Aug. 13: Jeremiah Dagley was promoted to a full time entry-level fire fighter at a salary of $31,577.47 effective Aug. 13; Joshua Etters was promoted to a full time entry-level fire fighter/ basic EMT at a salary of $32,077.47 effective Aug. 13. All three of the men are currently employed part time with the fire department.
Rounding out the agenda were three resolutions and three ordinances. Resolution 2022-18 providing for In Lieu of Tax Payments from LaFollette Utilities, this is done yearly. Resolution 2022-19 authorizing water upgrade project, this will replace the main water line in the city beginning at the hospital and continuing to IGA. Resolution 2022-20 authorizing the City of LaFollette to participate in PEP Risk Management Pool (Safety Partners) Loss Control Matching Grant Program, this a $2,000 grant that is done yearly. All three resolutions were approved. Ordinance 2022-10 amending the personnel policy on recommendations of state law regarding work/overtime hours reporting was approved on a final reading. Ordinance 2022-11 had a first reading amending Title 8 Chapter 2 of Alcoholic Beverages, the ordinance follows state guidelines. Ordinance 2022-12 amending personnel policy regarding personal relationships also had a first reading. The ordinance states that if a personal relationship is established after employment, it is the responsibility and obligation of the employees involved to disclose the existence of the relationship to the department head and city administrator.
In final business, the council approved declaring the Gradall Excavator as surplus. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 08/03/2022-6AM-UPDATED 08/03/2022-11AM))