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City Of Mitchell Awaiting Decision On Suspended Officer

Last updated on Thursday, April 22, 2010

(MITCHELL, IN) - A public meeting was held on Wednesday in Mitchell to discuss the suspension of Mitchell Police Officer Steve Blair.

Nothing was decided on whether or not Blair would remain suspended.

Instead, the city will have to wait another week before the city's board of public works and safety decides if the suspension will stand.

During the meeting, Mayor Dan Terrell testified that Blair had secretly taped the mayor during a conversion with former Chief of Police Dispatchers, Rita Hackler.

The Mayor says that Blair then gave the recording to an unnamed person who filed a lawsuit against the city.

Blair's attorney stated that the suspension should be dismissed because the board of works has no jurisdiction over police officers and that the responsibility rests on the newly formed police merit commission.

Meanwhile, Terrell's attorney states that the merit commission has not yet adopted its rules and regulations and therefore, the board of works has authority.

Blair's attorney also argued that state laws indicate that a position such as Mayor Terrell's, can only suspend an officer without pay for five days and that the city should pay him the difference for the days that he should have been paid.

Blair has now been put back on the city's payroll, but remains suspended until a decision is made during next week's meeting.

The board of works will meet in executive session at 10:00AM on April 28th to review each side's presentation.

The board will then hold a public meeting at 11:00AM to make a decision on the suspension and pending termination.

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