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Police chief fired, no reason cited

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The Ellis County Press

WILMER – Police Chief Robert Wells was terminated during executive session last week with a motion made by councilwoman Marlena Dyess during a 5-1 vote.

Councilwoman Tiny Lange being the lone nay. No reason was given for his firing.

According to Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education, Wells served as a Wilmer peace officer for seven years and 10 months before becoming chief the past six years and two months.

Before the council adjourned into executive session Wells requested to have his hearing in open discussion.

Upon break, a phone call placed by Mayor Jeff Steele to city attorney Michael Halla, said the session was okay to convene into executive session to discuss these matters until appeal.

Chapter 6 Section 551.074 of the Texas Open Meetings Act states certain deliberations in personnel matters about officers and employees of the governmental body to be held in executive session:

a) This chapter does not require a governmental body to conduct an open hearing:

1. To deliberate the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment duties, discipline or dismissal of a public officer or employee;or

2. To hear a complaint or charge against an officer or an employee.

(b) subsection (a) does not apply if the officer or employee who is the subject of the deliberation or hearing requests a public hearing.

Dispatch Supervisor Teri Cohen was terminated during a 5-1 as well with Lange being the opposing vote.

Several familiar faces were seen at the meeting including former mayor Don Hudson.

“I am just here to support Robert, said Hudson.

“I think he deserves to be able to finish out his last months before he retires.”

Calls to the city attorney were not returned as of press time.

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