Kingston settles matter with former police chief
by Matt Shinall
Jan 10, 2012 | 2176 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A dispute over the termination of former Kingston Police Chief Walter Harrell came to a close Monday night at the first city council meeting under the new administration.

At the request of Harrell's attorney, the Kingston City Council agreed to rescind the chief's demotion and reinstate him to the position of police chief from which he would immediately resign. The settlement includes eight weeks back pay and the removal of any remarks on Harrell's Peace Officer Standards and Training record made by former Mayor Dexter Jones.

"I think it's just a smooth resolution to take care of one of the last legacy disputes of the former administration. They were prepared to keep contesting that and he had an attorney, so this was a lot simpler solution than fighting through litigation," said Kingston City Attorney Peter Olson.

Harrell was terminated in July following allegations from Jones of "abandoning his post" in the attendance of a training conference which he was then accused of failing to attend. Kingston's newly appointed Mayor Ronald Casey, presided over Monday's meeting including an executive session in which the matter was discussed. Jones lost a re-election bid to Casey in November.

A lengthy combined city council work session and regular meeting was held Monday with major topics of discussion centering around budget issues and the city's financial situation.

For further coverage of Monday's meeting see Wednesday's edition of The Daily Tribune News.