Press Conference By Ozark Mayor Mark Blakenship In Reference To Termination of Police Chief and MajorRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jul 21 2021 9:33 AM
OZARK: Ozark Mayor Mark Blakenship held a 9:00 AM Press Conference in the Ozark Municipal Commission Chambers this morning.
Mayor Blakenship press conference was in reference to the termination of Marlos Walker as Chief of Police and the termination of Ozark Police Captain Tim Hicks.
Mayor Blakenship read from a prepared statement. Last Friday the Mayor said he was notified of inappropriate and unprofessional conduct by Police Chief Marlos Walker and Major Tim Hicks. Mayor Blakenship started an investigation that afternoon.
Over the next three days Mayor Blakenship and the Ozark City Clerk conducted numerous interviews of past and current Ozark City employees. After conducting the investigation Mayor Blakenship believed the allegations had been verified.
At last night’s Ozark City Council Meeting an Executive Session was called and the investigation results was presented to the Ozark City Council members And City Attorney Joe Adams.
As per Alabama Law no votes can be taken in Executive Session. The meeting was opened back after Executive Session and the members of Ozark City Council voted to terminate Marlos Walker as Chief of Police, effective immediately.
After the meeting was adjourned Mayor Blakenship and the City Clerk met with Ozark Police Major Tim Hicks and terminated him for policy and procedure violations.
Mayor Blakenship said details of the findings would not be discussed due to the nature of the findings.
Mayor Blakenship thanked Dale County Sheriff Office for assisting the City of Ozark last evening.
Last night at 9:45 PM Mayor Blakenship named retired ALEA Trooper Colonel Charles Ward as interim Ozark Police Chief. That appointment was effective this morning.
Interim Ozark Police Chief Charles Ward thanked Mayor Blakenship and Ozark City Council for having confidence in him as he holds this position. Ward’s desire is to keep everything running smoothly. Ward said he wants to keep Ozark a safe place. Ward said he brings integrity and the ability to run an organization.
Questions from the media Mayor Blakenship said the allegations were policy issues and not legal issues. When questioned if this affects the solving of the cold case of Beasley-Hawlett murder and Mayor Blakenship said that is totally unrelated and his job is to protect the employees.
Mayor Blakenship said when he first realized where this was headed he wanted someone who could run the organization and bring integrity.
Mayor Blakenship said the Chief of Police works totally at the Ozark City Council desire.
Mayor Blakenship said these policy violations have run for years but he had no knowledge until Friday.