Scott County Sheriff Wes Drury fires deputy who is running for his job

Wes Drury

Scott County Sheriff Wes Drury has fired a deputy who is running against him for sheriff and was the department’s 2018 employee of the year.

Carl Rose of Sikeston, Missouri, is running as a Republican candidate for sheriff in the 2020 election.

He said Drury fired him Monday without warning.

Rose accused the sheriff of terminating him for political reasons. But Drury, in an email Tuesday to the Southeast Missourian, denied the accusation.

“Carl Rose wasn’t terminated because he is running against me for sheriff,” Drury wrote. “We don’t even file for election until February 2020. However, I have no comment on the reasons of his termination, as I cannot discuss personnel issues.”

Rose said Drury “verbally told me it was over insubordination.” On Tuesday, he received a written letter of dismissal as required by state law.

Rose, who was promoted to corporal of the patrol division earlier this year, said he allowed a deputy under his supervision to leave his shift early Friday.

“I had previously approved his leaving early and the supervisor above me had approved it, too,” Rose said Tuesday.

“I handled a call for him that Drury asked him to handle,” Rose recalled.

Rose said there was no grounds for insubordination.

“I had the authority to do it,” he said of allowing the deputy to leave early.

He accused Drury of firing him because he is running for sheriff.

“That is the reason behind all this for sure,” he said, adding he plans to appeal his termination.

But the appeal process, under state law, is controlled by the sheriff.

The hearing would be held before a board appointed by the sheriff. The board would send its findings to the sheriff, who has “the final decision-making authority,” the law states.

While Drury can legally fire any employee in his department, Rose said Drury had no reason to fire him other than for political reasons.

“I had no disciplinary record,” Rose said.

“What frustrates me more than anything, as a supervisor, I have written people up and made recommendations for disciplinary action ... but yet no disciplinary action has been taken out on any of these people,” he said.

“Now, I am fired without warning,” Rose said. “It is odd, you make me employee of the year and promote me to supervisor, but when I announced I was running for sheriff, I was fired.”

In contrast, he said, a deputy who wrecked two patrol cars in fewer than than 40 days, was not disciplined.

Rose has worked in law enforcement for nearly 14 years.

He worked in dispatch and at the county jail before joining the Sikeston Department of Public Safety. He returned to the sheriff’s department in fall 2013.

Rose said he has worked as a deputy, court bailiff and canine handler.

Drury was elected sheriff in November 2016. After taking office, Drury gave the canine handler duty to another officer, Rose said.

When that officer left the department, “I got the dog back this past February,” according to Rose.

But Rose said after he was fired, the department immediately took away the dog, which is now being boarded at a dog trainer’s facility in Cape Girardeau.

Rose said the department now will have to spend $6,000 “to train someone else to handle this dog.”

Drury has done a poor job of managing the department, according to Rose.

“He put people in management positions that are not capable or qualified to be in those positions,” he said.

Drury frequently is not in the office,” Rose said.

“This place is in the worst shape it has been in a long time,” he said. “The agency is top heavy. There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians.”

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