Decatur – Decatur City Manager Tim Gleason joined Byers and Company this morning to talk about the recent allegations brought up by former Decatur Police Chief Brad Sweeney.
Sweeney said yesterday in an interview with the Herald & Review, that the termination was “retaliation” by Gleason. Sweeney said that he was terminated because he did not support the proposed motor fuel tax and for challenging Gleason’s authority to use police resources for private use.
On the topic of the proposed fuel tax, Gleason says he has no idea where that would’ve come from.
“It’s very clear that I’ve got five council members out of seven that want to see this,” says Gleason. “As far as my direction to staff or any department head, I’ve never had a conversation like that where I’ve told a department director that they shall be prepared to speak publicly about any topic, let alone local motor fuel tax.”
Gleason also went into detail on the allegation that he used police resources for private use. On the day of the police escort from Sweeney, Gleason was going to the airport so he could catch a flight to see his son in California.
Gleason says he let former Decatur Mayor Mike McElroy know of the situation before the State of the City address, and that McElroy supported Gleason to go see his son.
“I got a ride from the Police Department to the St. Louis airport,” says Gleason. “No lights and siren. I actually got caught in traffic on 270 — I thought I was going to miss my flight. That was something that was done at the direction of Mayor McElroy.”
Because the termination is a personnel matter Gleason cannot speak on the specifics of Sweeney’s termination. Gleason went into detail about why this is.
“If I start taking about the conduct or the intimate details for the dismissal, I put the city in a litigious situation,” says Gleason. “I know that’s not an answer that the community likes hearing out of government — I understand it, but first and foremost I have to protect the interest of the city.”
Sweeney stated in his interview with the paper that he is planning on filing a wrongful termination lawsuit in Macon County Circuit Court next week. Gleason says that if Sweeney files a lawsuit then all the reasons for which he was dismissed becomes public record.