Acting on Mayor La’Shone Price’s motion, seconded by councilor Ann Sullins, the Snead Town Council voted unanimously “to terminate” the employment of its police chief Alan Hicks. Price’s motion cited “poor leadership and poor work supervision” as reasons for the action.
Gathering in a special called 7 p.m. Monday meeting to consider personnel, the council recessed into executive session within 5 minutes of Price’s call to order. Town attorney Brett King advised the score or so in attendance that some might be asked back inside as witnesses. Hicks’s attorney Bill Chandler noted he wished “to invoke the rule,” legal parlance for excluding likely witnesses from a courtroom while others testify.
While a couple or so did re-enter the community center where the council meets, councilors, the two attorneys, and Hicks spent the nearly three hours together. Hicks and Chandler emerged a bit before 9:50 and then later conferred a few minutes with King shortly thereafter. Price announced the time as 10:06 when the body prepared for its action.
Hicks referred this reporter to Chandler for any official comment. Chandler promised a contact later in the week. The previous council had hired Hicks in July of 2015 on a split vote of 3-2. Councilman Tim Kent remains as the only current member who voted to hire Hicks. (Dale Snead who continues on the council, missed the meeting at which Hicks had been hired.) Hicks’s previous experience included service in Guntersville, Douglas and Sardis and as chief in Altoona.
Prior to adjournment, the council voted to move Jacob Heaton from part time to full time within the police department. Heaton’s pay will rise to $13.50 an hour.
Councilors Phillip McHan and Greg Ogles joined Price, Sullins, Kent, and Snead for the Dec. 18 session. The council normally meets the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. but previously voted not to hold its regular session on Dec. 25.