Notasulga police chief says he did not resign; fights for job - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Notasulga police chief says he did not resign; fights for job

Notasulga, AL (WSFA) -

A small town police chief is blocked from his office after a letter from the mayor states the chief's resignation was accepted. The catch? The chief says he never quit.

"Told me I could sit out here and look stupid if I wanted to, but I didn't work for the town of Notasulga," says Police Chief William Baker. So, that's just how he spent his day, outside Town Hall, after receiving a letter from the Mayor.

"Stating that he was accepting my resignation and thanking me for my service to the Town of Notasulga, and he didn't know why I felt things weren't going right for me here," Baker explains. But Baker says he never resigned. "I said if it don't get no better, I may end up having to quit, but I didn't quit."

The conversation in question was over which Notasulga police officers would provide security at the football game. Baker says, "We do have a couple of reserves that work here that he [the mayor] don't allow to carry a firearm. He kept insisting that I would let the reserves go over and work the game." 

Baker says the contract with the school requires a certified officer, with a weapon, and that started an argument.

Now, Baker says this move by Mayor Tommy Miller won't fly.  "If you're firing me, Mayor, put that in writing, I will leave without any problems and go home. I'm not accepting that, I haven't resigned, I reported to work at 7:00 this morning. I'm gonna stand out here and get paid until I get terminated."

Mayor Miller declined to speak with WSFA 12 News. The town attorney, Brian Strength, says as of September 5th, Baker is no longer considered a Notasulga employee as a result of his verbal resignation.

Strength couldn't say if it was typical policy for the Town to accept a verbal resignation without something in writing, or if anyone else witnessed Baker's verbal resignation.

Alabama law is somewhat unclear on how a situation like this should be handled, but it does say a person appointed to office is entitled to a hearing before being fired.

Mayor Miller was sworn into office in January. He appointed William Baker as Police Chief in February.

Baker is now seeking legal counsel.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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