In a 3 – 1 vote, the Sturgeon Board of Aldermen voted to remove Greg Halderman from his position as police chief.
The vote came after a closed hearing in which 12 people testified supporting Halderman. The closed meeting lasted about 3 1/2 hours Monday night.
“There’s no words for it,” Halderman supporter, Erik Anthes, said. “They’ve taken a big chunk of the spirit of our city and gotten rid of it. There was a lot of hope last night that we made our voice heard. Instead we were ignored.”
After the hearing, Halderman’s attorney, Ryan McDaniels, said, “I think that we put forth the best possible case that we could for Mr. Halderman, and we’re hopeful the council will find in our favor.”
Alderman Rhonda Dawson made a motion the board find just cause to remove Halderman from his position as chief. Alderman Travis Sutton seconded the motion. Aldermen Dawson, Sutton and Tyler Patterson voted in favor of the motion. Alderman Danny Joiner opposed the motion.
Former City Clerk Kristina Jones spoke with ABC 17 News about her time working for the city.
“I enjoyed my job, I enjoyed the people of Sturgeon, I enjoyed my co-workers in the front office,” Jones said. “But the Board of Aldermen (is) not pleasant to work with.”
Jones abruptly quit from job as clerk late last year.
“In a nutshell, there are too many hands in the cookie jar,” Jones said. “Everybody wants that certain form of power.”
The removal hearing for Halderman came after the chief filed a complaint with the attorney general’s office against Patterson. Patterson allegedly removed Halderman’s personnel file, made a copy, and left City Hall with the copy.
Jones said she believes the hearing was called because Halderman “wasn’t willing to lay down and do what they wanted.”
“Anybody that tries to show some sort of, ‘Hey there’s a wrongdoing here; somebody needs to do something,’ then it’s not, ‘You’re right we can fix it,’ it’s, ‘Let’s get rid of that person,’ because they want it swept under the rug. They don’t want to look bad,” Jones said.
Some of Halderman’s supporters believe the alleged alcohol problem the board is citing is not the reason they called for Halderman’s removal.
“Some days I wonder if our city is run by city government or student council,” Anthes said. “That’s basically the feeling I have right now.”
“I think ultimately a lot of the people are afraid to stand up to the board of aldermen because they’re going to lose their job and it’s a good job only because of the citizens of Sturgeon, not because of the board of aldermen,” Jones said.
The removal of Halderman as chief was effective as of midnight Monday.