|Corrigan Times - Local News
Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company
Corrigan city council denies appeal from fired police officer
BY LEW VAIL
CORRIGAN -- The regu-lar monthly meeting of the Corrigan City Council began with the approval of Tammy Ezernack to serve as Deputy Court Clerk. Opening of bids for the “Old Saxon Building” was next with only one bid received during the open time for bids. A bid of $9,500 was submitted by the Corrigan Community Service League. During the discussion, Interim City Manager Grimes Fortune said the group had the funds in hand to meet the bid amount, council voted unani-mously to accept the bid.The next item on the agen-da was an appeal by Michael Christopher Molandes, asking council to consider his termi-nation, since his appeal to City Manager Fortune has been de-nied. This appeal process is spelled out in the Corrigan pol-icy and procedures manual.Mr. Molandes was represent-ed by Attorney Warren McCol-lum, and City Attorney Luan Tatum was present to advise Council. Mr. McCollum pro-ceeded to conduct a hearing, rather than have Molandes tes-tify before council. He questioned interim city manager Fortune asking many dates and verifying several let-ters. Then he questioned Police Chief Darrell Gibson, regarding events of the past several years as well as recent activity since Gibson became Chief. At times during the proceed-ing, Tatum advised both For-tune and Gibson which ques-tions could or could not be answered. Her reason for these ques-tions being unanswered was stated that there will be an in-vestigation by a Texas Ranger of some items pertaining to the matter. Gibson answered that he has requested no Polk County in-vestigator or Ranger stationed in Polk County be assigned the matter. Attorney McCollum spent the better part of his allotted hour, another stipulation in the manual, before stating that he had concluded his case and that his client would not testify, the appellant does not have to speak during these proceedings.A motion was made to deny the appeal of Molandes, by Jo-anna Lowe, seconded by Irene Thompson; the vote to deny the appeal was 4 in favor and 1 abstention. McCollum, Molan-des and several citizens left the building at that time.An item to discuss the build-ing inspector’s position was next and council decided to table the issue to allow time to study what similar communities are doing regarding pay and re-quirements for the position.Police Chief Darrell Gibson reported that the department made 17 arrests, worked 49 cas-es, submitting two to the Polk County District Attorney. They issued 309 citations, clearing 296,during September.The Interim City Manager’s report advised the new sewer extension project is still in progress. Eight streets are tar-geted for paving; the engineer has begun preparing plans and estimated the work can go out for bids in February 2013. The “no parking” signs are in place at US 287 East and Rayburn Hills.The bids closed for water/wastewater operator and For-tune reported that a very quali-fi ed —actually over qualifi ed by license — was available due to a merger of several compa-nies that awesome personnel become extra. He has begun work and fel-low employees are very sup-portive of the abilities of the new hire.During council comments one council member reported that there are many young peo-ple who appear to be just wan-dering around late at night. She wondered if the Police were enforcing the curfew. Gibson said, yes, they were and asked that a reminder be placed in the news restating the hours. Curfew for all under 18 (Minors) applies from 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday un-til 6 a.m. the next morning and on Friday and Saturday from 12:01 a.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning. There are provisions for trav-el from events at school and for those students who work. But there are also requirements for those exceptions to be allowed. The City Secretary can fur-nish a complete explanation of the ordinance. Also mentioned during this time was the contin-ual problem of loose and stray dogs in the city. Gibson wants to remind citizens that there is a “no dog running loose” provision in the city ordinance regarding dogs and cats and fi nes apply to ani-mals picked up. Chief also stated that he is discussing the issue with an of-fi cer who is licensed by the state to be an animal control offi cer. He said he wanted citizens to know that animal laws will be enforced and they should work on having their pets properly secured by a fence so they are not picked up as strays.Since there was no citizen forum on this night agenda Mayor Wayne Geeslin al-lowed Rev. Kenneth Jackson, a long time Corrigan resident, to speak about the positive ef-fects of the recent revival. He commended City Council for attending at least one evening and said he saw Christian love and friendship exhibited by all, regardless of race or religious background.