Local News

Police Chief's Career Uncertain After DWI Violation

Posted March 8, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST

— Leaders in the town of Fremont met behind closed doors for 2 1/2 hours Tuesday evening to decide if the chief of police could keep his job.

Police Chief Floyd Hobbs was stopped Friday night on US 117 in Pikeville, near Fremont. He was off duty and was not driving a patrol car. The arrest report shows his alcohol level was .12, 1 1/2 times higher than the legal limit of .08.

The Fremont Board of Aldermen decided to suspend Hobbs without pay until midnight on March 16. The decision is contingent upon Hobb's driving privileges. He will lose his driving privileges at least for a few weeks because of the DWI charge.

The discussions were held during a private session. But before the doors were closed to the public some Fremont residents showed their support for Hobbs, who was just appointed in January.

"I've seen the way he conducts and carry himself in a very respectable way, showing concern for the town," said Fremont resident Preston Sherrod.

Hobbs told town leaders about the DWI Saturday morning. Now they must decide if an officer accused of breaking the law can uphold it.

"It depends on what the individual is accused of and how serious it is -- of course this is extremely serious," said Town Manager Tom Barnes.

Hobbs has not been suspended, but he has not returned to work to the police department since Friday. The chief will lose his license for 30 days, leaving a department with only three full-time officers, short one patrolman.

Hobbs has a court appearance on March 15. On March 16, the board will meet at their regularly scheduled time to decide, at that point, whether the chief stays or goes.

Members say they would really like to keep him, and they believe he can win back the public trust.