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Fired police chief questions whether Sturgeon in contempt

Former Sturgeon Police Chief Greg Halderman’s attorneys on Thursday asked a Boone County judge to examine whether the City of Sturgeon committed contempt of court after putting Halderman on unpaid leave earlier this week.

Boone County Judge Jeff Harris ordered that Halderman be reinstated as Sturgeon’s police chief with back pay on Feb. 15. According to the judgment, the city has to comply with official removal proceedings before Halderman can be removed again.

However, when Halderman notified the city he would be back to work on Tuesday, Sturgeon Mayor Danny Joiner sent Halderman a letter stating he would be placed on administrative leave without pay until the city could hold a formal hearing on Halderman’s position.

The City of Sturgeon filed a motion Tuesday asking Harris to clarify whether the city must reinstate former police chief Greg Halderman immediately and to issue a final judgment so the city can seek an appeal on the case or to stay the ruling while the city seeks other legal remedies.

Halderman’s attorneys argued the city had a right to place him on paid leave until it received clarification on whether or not an appeal would be possible. However, Halderman’s attorney argued that because the city placed Halderman on unpaid leave the city could theoretically keep Halderman in “legal limbo,” according to the motion.

In the motion Halderman’s lawyers contend that Harris should order the city to show cause why it should not be held in contempt of court for placing Halderman on unpaid leave. The motion argues the city is “willfully violating” Harris’ Feb. 15 judgment.

Halderman originally filed the case after the board voted 3-1 to fire him in March 2017 over allegations of alcohol abuse and inappropriate behavior.

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