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Fired Kennett, Mo., police chief rehired as patrolman
KENNETT, Mo. -- Former Kennett police chief Barry Tate has been rehired as a patrolman.
According to Kennett city attorney Terry McVey, on Wednesday evening during a closed meeting of the Kennett City Council, a motion was made to reinstate Tate, with the understanding that he would not return as police chief but as a department patrolman.
The motion passed 5-4.
Tate accepted the position, effective immediately. The pay scale will be $10.25 an hour.
During a special meeting June 21, the council voted 6-3 in favor of terminating Tate's employment. Tate had served as Kennett police chief for nearly nine years.
Major Steve Williams will serve as the interim chief of police.
In a written statement issued Friday, Kennett Mayor Jake Crafton said that the citizens of Kennett "deserve to know what their city officials are doing."
In the statement, Crafton said the Kennett Police Department is under investigation by state officials regarding an officer pawning an automatic weapon owned by the city and that in November an off-duty officer had been pulled over on suspicion of DWI, but no charges were filed. Crafton said no action on the incidents had been taken by the department and that the city council learned of them first through rumors, not from the department.
He also said city officials are also looking into an issue of department badges that have been distributed to noncommissioned officers and a missed opportunity by department administration for a partially funded (50 percent) grant valued at around $50,000 which would have potentially replaced "our dangerously aged 911 system."
"The dismissal of the Chief was not done hastily or without a great deal of thought," Crafton said in the statement. "However, it became clear that because of inadequate control and direction of the police department, that the dismissal was in the best interest of the police department and the citizens of Kennett."
Of hiring Tate as a patrolman, in the statement Crafton said: "On June 27 the City Council met in closed session. This meeting was put on the calendar just one day prior on June 26, 2012, by some members of the council. A vote was taken to rehire Barry Tate as Police Chief, but under the condition that he would step down immediately from that position."