The New Tazewell board of Mayor and Aldermen (BMA) officially accepted the immediate resignation of police officer Todd Daniels during its regular monthly meeting on Nov. 8.
Daniels was recently indicted for official misconduct and for the alleged theft of narcotics from the city police evidence locker from May 5 to July 27 of this year. His official resignation letter was brief and to the point. He wrote of his appreciation for police chief Ben Evans, his fellow officers and city officials.
After an ‘in-house’ investigation into the missing narcotics, the police chief requested that the office of the 8th Judicial District Attorney General look into the matter. Attorney general Jared Effler then contacted the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), who began its own search into the thefts.
The Claiborne Grand Jury returned an indictment during its Oct. 26 session, charging Daniels, 38, with official misconduct and theft under $500.
Daniels was suspended without pay, pending a decision by city officials.
Once the true bill was handed down, Daniels turned himself in to the Claiborne County Jail. He was subsequently released on a $1,000 bond.
Daniels had been on the police department for 12 and one-half years.
The BMA managed to conduct a piece of leftover business moments before the 8 p.m. closing of the election polls on Tuesday evening. The council unanimously adopted a city ordinance giving itself control of all future hiring and firing of employees.
Mayor Phil Greer said the council had originally adopted the ordinance about ten years ago. However, the original document was apparently lost in the shuffle and “never made it to Nashville.”
The city was advised to start ‘from scratch’ with a new ordinance, that could be duly adopted, he said.
Just prior to the meeting, the city held a public hearing on an ordinance that spells out the duties of city officials. The hearing drew no response.
New Tazewell will once again play host to the annual Christmas Parade, slated for Nov. 19. Leading the front of the parade this year will be channel six anchor Bo Williams, in his position as the grand marshal.
Before adjourning, the BMA discussed the possibility that the Dec. 13 meeting might not occur because of a lack of a quorum. If this happens, Greer said city recorder Linda Stilson has the leeway to “call the meeting off.”
Mayor-elect Jerry Beeler and alderman-elect Franklin Essary are expected to be officially sworn into office during the opening moments of that meeting. It is unclear, at this time, just when the oaths of office will be conducted, if a quorum is not met.
The Claiborne Progress is following this story and will have more information as it becomes available.
Reach Jan Runions at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @scribeCP.