The City of Smithville is accepting applications to fill the position of Police Chief.
Mayor Taft Hendrixson, in a public notice, states that applications may be picked up at city hall from 8:00 a.m. until noon. through April 16th All applicants must be certified by the Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission (P.O.S.T.) with a minimum of six years experience as a certified, full-time officer with a minimum of three years experience in a supervisory position. The City of Smithville is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, or disability.
The Police Chief position has been open since December when the Board of Aldermen, with four voting in the affirmative, upheld the city discipline board's decision in November to terminate former Police Chief Richard Jennings for dereliction of duties/negligence..
Lieutenant Steven Leffew has been serving as "Officer in Charge" of the department since November.
On December 10th. Jennings and his wife June filed a federal court lawsuit against the City of Smithville claiming he was wrongfully terminated and that his constitutional rights were violated
In the lawsuit, Jennings alleges that the city never established a cause for his termination, that the city violated his constitutional due process rights, and that he was the victim of age discrimination in the dismissal.
The former police chief is asking for a jury trial, that he be awarded back pay and damages for loss of earnings and benefits in an amount to be determined at trial, that front pay be awarded to compensate him for lost employment opportunities, that compensatory damages be awarded in an amount to be determined at trial, and that he be awarded attorney's fees, expenses of the litigation, prejudgement interests, punitive damages, and such other and further relief as may be deemed just and proper."
Jennings is being represented by Murfreesboro attorney Kerry Knox.