A small town police chief is blocked from his office after a letter from the mayor states the chief's resignation was accepted. The catch? The chief says he never quit.
"Told me I could sit out here and look stupid if I wanted to, but I didn't work for the town of Notasulga," says Police Chief William Baker. So, that's just how he spent his day, outside Town Hall, after receiving a letter from the Mayor.
"Stating that he was accepting my resignation and thanking me for my service to the Town of Notasulga, and he didn't know why I felt things weren't going right for me here," Baker explains. But Baker says he never resigned. "I said if it don't get no better, I may end up having to quit, but I didn't quit."
The conversation in question was over which Notasulga police officers would provide security at the football game. Baker says, "We do have a couple of reserves that work here that he [the mayor] don't allow to carry a firearm. He kept insisting that I would let the reserves go over and work the game."
Baker says the contract with the school requires a certified officer, with a weapon, and that started an argument.
Now, Baker says this move by Mayor Tommy Miller won't fly. "If you're firing me, Mayor, put that in writing, I will leave without any problems and go home. I'm not accepting that, I haven't resigned, I reported to work at 7:00 this morning. I'm gonna stand out here and get paid until I get terminated."
Mayor Miller declined to speak with WSFA 12 News. The town attorney, Brian Strength, says as of September 5th, Baker is no longer considered a Notasulga employee as a result of his verbal resignation.
Strength couldn't say if it was typical policy for the Town to accept a verbal resignation without something in writing, or if anyone else witnessed Baker's verbal resignation.
Alabama law is somewhat unclear on how a situation like this should be handled, but it does say a person appointed to office is entitled to a hearing before being fired.
Mayor Miller was sworn into office in January. He appointed William Baker as Police Chief in February.
Baker is now seeking legal counsel.
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