The Sturgeon Board of Aldermen voted 3-1 Tuesday to remove Police Chief Greg Halderman from his position.
Tuesday’s hearing was the second removal hearing in the case which began in 2017.
In May 2017, the city fired Halderman on allegations of alcohol abuse and inappropriate behavior, but a judge ruled the city did not follow procedure laid out in state law. Halderman then filed a motion claiming the city should be held in contempt of court.
Boone County Judge Jeff Harris ordered the city to reinstate Halderman with back pay after it placed him on unpaid administrative leave. Halderman was reinstated with back pay and put on administrative leave in March 2019.
Halderman’s attorney, Andy Hirth, said he was partly surprised by the outcome.
“Yes and no. I think we were concerned about the ability to, you know, once you sue a city that you’re going to get a fair shake from them afterwards,” he said. “But we put on the evidence we thought we had and we listened to their evidence.”
The city has not released its reasoning on the ruling and did not discuss it during Tuesday’s hearing. The city’s attorney did not want to comment but said the city’s reasonings would be sent out in a release within the next few days.
“We haven’t seen the ruling that they made yet. We know the vote is 3-1 to remove but we don’t know the full basis for that. So we need to see their ruling is to determine what our options are for appeal,” Hirth said.
Hirth said until the city releases its reasoning, he will not know if it has sufficient grounds to appeal. He also said he hopes cities in the future pay more attention to their obligation to provide due process.
The city is appealing the motion to give Halderman the back pay in the western district court of appeals. Hirth said the briefs will probably be written in the next three months or so, but it will probably be around a year before a ruling.
Halderman’s attorney is still looking at the city’s basis to remove him from his position the first time.
“We still have live claims against the city that will go to trial in December of this year,” Hirth said. “Those are the tort claims that really are separate from this action.