No solution on hiring chief
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 2:40 pm
By MIKE WEST, Courier Editor
Woodbury's Board of Mayor and Aldermen accepted the resignation of Police Chief Kevin Mooneyham Tuesday night (May 5) but delayed action on his replacement for at least 30 days.
Thus far, the Town of Woodbury has received four applications for the post. Two of the applicants are in-house: Assistant Chief Lowell Womack and Sgt. John House. Womack is currently serving as acting chief.
"I hate to leave things in limbo, but we will leave Lowell (Womack) in charge," Mayor Harold Patrick said, asking aldermen if they had any nominations for the post.
"Would it not be helpful, if we could see the applicant?" asked Alderman Faye Northcutt-Knox. "It would be hard for us to make a decision."
In the past, the chief of police was selected from officers within the Woodbury Police Department. However, personnel policies indicate the post of police chief is exempt from the normal policy of only hiring a resident of Woodbury.
Making the situation more complicated was the arrest of Mooneyham following an investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Officials from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee announced the charges following an indictment by a federal grand jury in Nashville.
The indictment alleged Mooneyham submitted false timesheets for overtime hours from 2013 until March 2015, saying he had worked time for DUI enforcement when he had not.
The Woodbury chief was reportedly paid more than $25,000 as a result. Those funds came from a federal grant by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to be used for DUI enforcement - primarily as overtime pay.
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen is expected to take up hiring Mooneyham's replacement at its June meeting.
The second ordinance, No. 471, would amend Woodbury's zoning ordinance to allow certain agricultural uses within the city limits. This recommendation was previously recommended by the Woodbury Planning Commission.
Both ordinances passed on first reading.
Aldermen also heard a brief report on the status of two vacant lots on Main Street, owned by Charles Preston and/or others. The lots are up for sale and the property owners plan on erecting safety fences before Good Ole Days, scheduled for May 15-16. Located on the Square in Woodbury, the lots are the result of a Nov. 1, 2013 fire that destroyed two consignment shops, Hope and Faith and Off the Hanger.
The Board took no action on a drainage ditch behind Greenbrier Street despite a lengthy presentation by property owner Chuck Holt.
"We're not getting anywhere," said Vice-Mayor Charlie Harrell, who moved that City Attorney Jonathan Hirshman look further into the matter and make a presentation during the next Board of Alderman meeting. Alderman Dottie Duggin seconded the resolution which passed on voice vote.