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Archive for Tuesday, October 24, 1989

BALDWIN TENTATIVELY SETS HEARING

October 24, 1989

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— The Baldwin City Council on Monday night discussed a pending hearing and three possible hearing dates for its suspended police chief but failed to settle on a date for the proceeding.

Baldwin Mayor Loren Litteer said this morning that the council met in executive session to discuss the hearing requested by Police Chief Robert Mason, who was suspended with pay at the council's regular meeting Oct. 9.

Council members agreed on three possible hearing dates, one preferred by the council and two alternatives in case Mason or his attorney, Mike Riling, had a conflict.

The dates were determined in executive session and not made public.

The council instructed Jack Murphy, Baldwin city attorney, to contact Riling to set up a time agreeable to both parties. Once the two agree to a hearing date, the council will be notified and a special meeting will be called to conduct the hearing.

LITTEER SAID he did not not know how soon the hearing date would be set, but did say that all three possible dates discussed by the council were before the council's next regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 6 at the American Legion, 803 High St.

Murphy said this morning that he planned to contact Riling before the end of the week.

Litteer has said that because the matter involves personnel, the hearing would be held in executive session, which is closed to the public.

Mason was suspended without pay after an executive session Oct. 9. Litteer would not be specific but said the suspension was based on complaints he had received from Baldwin residents and other members of the police department.

According to the complaints, Mason allegedly had not been performing some administrative duties required by the job. Litteer characterized the duties as "paperwork and personnel management matters."

UNDER STATE law and Mason's contract with the city council, he is entitled to a hearing with the full city council to discuss and refute the complaints lodged against him.

Mason requested the hearing in a letter through his attorney on Oct. 12.

The length of the suspension is indefinite but Mason's contract states that it cannot last longer than 90 days.

Based on facts presented at the hearing, the council then may reinstate Mason, dismiss him or extend the suspension.

Sgt. Steve Butell is in charge of the daily operations at the police department during Mason's absence.

IN OTHER business, the council:

Heard a proposal from Woodsmall Public Risk Services, a Kansas City, Mo., company that has formed a worker's compensation self-insurance group of 11 eastern Kansas cities.

City Clerk Linda Clark said the group could provide worker's compensation insurance at a lower rate than its current carrier, Whitley Insurance Agency, Baldwin. The city would not be able to join the group until April, when its current worker's compensation insurance policy expires, Mrs. Clark said.

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