Former Monroeville Police Chief Favored in Arbitrator’s Decision
Tuesday, November, 5, 2013
Attorney Ronald Talarico, the arbitrator overseeing the case of former Monroeville, Alabama’s Police Chief Doug Cole, ruled in favor of Cole in a dispute surrounding the circumstances of his demotion from chief to sergeant. According to the arbitrator’s ruling, although Cole lost his job with the department in a situation involving illegal access to 911 records, he should have been demoted to Assistant Chief rather than sergeant.
The original demotion was given to Cole by Monroeville municipal manager Lynette McKinney in February of this year. The demotion and subsequent firing occurred due to a 2012 case in which the Monroeville Police Department was under investigation concerning unauthorized users accessing personal information from the 911 dispatch center connected to the municipality’s services. Since Mr. Cole was the police chief at the time, the blowback and responsibility for the debacle fell primarily on his shoulder.
Ms. McKinney, however, informed the local paper that the ruling does not mean Mr. Cole will be re-hired or that his firing was reversed. It only asserted that he should have been assigned a different position upon receiving a demotion following the investigation of the department. The former police chief has also filed two other grievances concerning the circumstances that led to his suspension and eventual termination. These grievances will be handled in future arbitration hearings.