Former Sturgeon police Chief Greg Halderman plans to appeal his removal from office to the Missouri Supreme Court, according to his attorney Andy Hirth with TGH Litigation, LLC.
The Sturgeon Board of Aldermen voted 3-1 to remove Halderman from his position during a hearing on March 27.
“This is what we think is a personal effort by members of the city council to get rid of the chief that they personally didn’t like even though he is very popular in the community,” Hirth said.
The board said Halderman was unable to perform his duties as police chief citing alleged alcohol abuse. The board also cited four alleged incidents involving the chief dating back to 2014.
A 2013 amendment to state law allows Halderman’s appeal to go straight to the Missouri Supreme Court with priority to have his case heard as soon as possible. Hirth said Halderman’s case would be the first heard at the state Supreme Court level under the new statute.
“The chief of police statute is designed to shield the chief of police from political influence, so if you have a city council that ousts the chief it should be much harder to do,” he said.
Hirth said they plan to file the appeal once Halderman receives a copy of the written finding from the Board of Aldermen, which should be delivered within two weeks of the removal hearing.
“The chief didn’t break any laws,” Hirth said. “He didn’t do anything really out of character for a chief of police or anything improper. He’s just anxious to getting back to work and serving the people of Sturgeon.”
Sturgeon’s attorney did not return phone calls for comment on the pending appeal Friday.