Local Politics

Board Bans Former Police Chief, Family From Town Buildings

Posted December 20, 2007 6:32 p.m. EST
Updated December 20, 2007 7:14 p.m. EST

— The town board of Taylortown banned its former police chief and his whole family from town buildings, but the fired chief still wants to make a comeback.

Tim Blakeley wants his old job back heading up the tiny police department in Taylortown.

“There are citizens in Taylortown that depended on me when I was the chief of police,” Blakeley said. “They have called me with questions since I’ve been terminated, and I want to get back and serve.”

On Tuesday night, the town board voted 3-2 to ban Blakeley from setting foot in Town Hall or on any town property. If he does, he’ll face arrest. The board then passed a resolution barring any of Blakeley's family members.

“There was no reason or explanation given during the meeting,” Blakeley said.

His wife attended Tuesday's meeting when the decision was made.

"I was very disturbed by it," Blakeley said. "I was embarrassed for my wife at being in a meeting like that."

The town board fired Blakeley in March. At the time, Ulysses Barrett was the mayor. He’s now a council member. Earlier this year, he was arrested on fraud and embezzlement charges.

Barrett and several members of the board said they fired Blakeley because of poor job performance.

The board appointed as the new chief a 28-year-old officer that Blakeley hired. It was the new chief who suggested that the board ban Blakeley from town property. The town decided to also ban his family.

Chief Damon Williams said Blakeley's conduct since his firing has made people nervous, but he wouldn't give examples.

“The folks here are very familiar with the actions I’m talking about, but I’m just not going to speak to that at this time,” Williams said. "We felt it necessary for the citizens here, the council members here, that he not be involved in town matters."

Lonnie Jones, a former town board member who was arrested in July on drug charges, said Blakeley “was acting like a stalker.”

“He also told the board members that if they thought he was going to go quietly, he wasn’t,” Jones said. “And the way he stated it, yes, it sounded like a threat.”

Blakeley said he was never disruptive in town board meetings and never stalked anybody. He says council members went too far in banning him and his family from meetings.

“What it does is it strikes at the very core of what America stands for. It’s a citizen’s right to petition its elected officials,” Blakeley said.

The state's Open Meetings Law gives all people the right to attend official meetings of public bodies, and Blakeley said he hopes the law will prevail inside Town Hall.

Blakeley's attorney and the state director of the Police Benevolent Association planned to meet with the town board Thursday night in an effort to get Blakeley re-instated.