Police officer faces hearing

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 14, 2003

A hearing Tuesday could rescind Selma Police Lt. Bill Hamner’s upcoming suspension. Then again, it might increase Hamner’s punishment.

Hamner received a 10-day suspension from Mayor James Perkins Jr. on Dec. 8. The suspension is scheduled to begin Dec. 18 and will last until Jan. 5, 2004.

According to City Attorney Jimmy Nunn, Hamner filed an appeal of the suspension with Personnel Director Valeria Jones. The city’s personnel board will hear Hamner’s appeal Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. in Selma City Council chambers.

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When contacted, Hamner confirmed that he had been suspended for 10 days and that he had appealed the suspension.

He directed all other questions to local attorney Henry Pitts.

The personnel board is composed of area residents. No city employee or police officer is a member.

Reasons for the suspension include conduct unbecoming an employee in the public service and reasons deemed to be in the best interests of public service.

According to Nunn, Hamner drafted a letter of complaint against an Enhanced 911 dispatcher.

The letter was sent to Tracy Williams, the dispatchers’ supervisor, but it was also sent to the attention of the E-911 board of commissioners, Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman Jr., and Police Chief Robert Green.

The dispatcher was a city employee at the time. E-911 dispatchers are now employed by Dallas County.

Huffman and Green are members of the E-911 advisory board.

The board meets at least twice a year to deal with any complaints dispatchers may have received.

Nunn said Hamner made his complaint known to the public before allowing his superiors to review the complaint.

According to Nunn, Perkins and Green have had a number of talks about Hamner.

He said that Green had received a letter from his assistant chief, Robert Jacobs, about Hamner’s actions, but no disciplinary action had been taken.

He added that the review committee suggested Hamner be demoted.

Instead, Perkins suspended Hamner for the 10-day period.