The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

June 21, 2014

Palestine City Council to discuss police chief, charter at Monday meeting


A closed session meeting regarding the fate of the Palestine Police Chief and a presentation on the Palestine City Charter tops the agenda for the regular Palestine City Council worksession and meeting set to begin at 4 p.m. Monday at City Hall, located at 504 N. Queen St.

After multiple complaints from police officers and their families about Police Chief Robert Herbert's performance during a previous meeting June 9, the city council came back in a meeting on June 16 and voted 4-3 to advise City Manager Wendy Ellis to terminate Herbert from his position.

According to City Attorney Ronald Stutes, city ordinance states that the chief may only be removed from office by the city manager, with approval by the council.

“The city manager will take the direction of the council and take action using her discretion... and that will be on a future city council agenda,” Stutes said in the June 16 meeting.

During the regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, the council will enter into closed session for “discussion regarding the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline,

or dismissal of the Chief of Police,” and then in open session “take any action necessary” on that item as well as “regarding approval of termination of police chief by City Manager.”

During the scheduled worksession at 4 p.m., Stutes will be making a presentation before the council regarding the Palestine City Charter, with a proposal to consider revising it.

The City Charter, which is adopted by the voters of the city, operates as the “constitution” of city government.

Stutes will speak on the history of city charters in Texas, the history of the Palestine City Charter, how city charters are created and how they can be revised. He also will discuss key issues that may be addressed regarding the charter revision process in Palestine.

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