MOWEAQUA — Rob Maynard resigned as chief of the Moweaqua Police Department on Monday, a day before he was set to return from a one-week suspension.
In his resignation letter, obtained by the Herald & Review on Monday night, Maynard said the decision stemmed from "what I believe has been nothing more than outright and blatant discrimination directed at myself and the police department." Maynard confirmed that he submitted the letter to Mayor Boomer Neece and village officials earlier Monday.
Attempts to reach Neece and village attorney Ed Flynn were unsuccessful Monday night. Both previously declined to comment about reasons for Maynard's suspension, saying it was a personnel issue that could not be discussed unless Maynard signed a waiver allowing it.
Maynard, a 15-year veteran of the Moweaqua Police Department, also alleged the mayor and village board created a hostile work environment, which has caused "a detriment to my health and well-being, along with a direct effect on my family and my good standing within the community."
In paperwork obtained by the Herald & Review last week, the village board cited a variety of reasons for the suspension, which was set to end Tuesday. Reasons included failure to show up to several public events, misrepresenting his hours worked, and not overlapping hours with Moweaqua's only other full-time officer, who submitted his resignation last week.
Maynard said Monday that he plans to seek legal counsel "and go forward from there."
Since the announcement of his suspension last week, the former police chief has received an outpouring of support from dozens of village residents. Maynard returned to the village of 1,700 on Friday night after several days away "to decompress," and arrived to a gathering of more than 100 supporters.
Dozens of residents also packed a public meeting last week, where officials accepted the resignation of Moweaqua's only other full-time police personnel, Officer Chad Lamb. At the meeting, Neece said he did not know why Lamb had resigned. Lamb could not be reached for comment.
The two-page document outlines reasons for the suspension, which include:
- Failure to work evening patrols;
- Failure to attend three football games in Moweaqua at the mayor's request;
- Failure to overlap work schedules with Lamb so as to communicate local police concerns;
- An incident in which someone observed Maynard in plain clothes at a gas station while he was on duty, amounting to a failure to clock out;
- Refusal to seek part-time employees for the police department.
"Your professional conduct has deteriorated since your last discipline," village officials wrote in the document outlining Maynard's suspension. "The Village of Moweaqua is concerned because your professional performance has been unacceptable."
Maynard, 49, described a slew of disciplinary hearings over his violation of Moweaqua's policies and procedure going back to July. He said concerns about his performance were never brought to him before the village board took action.
"I was never given an opportunity (to respond)," he said last week.
The pattern, he said, started two months after a new village board was sworn into office in May.
"It was just a downward continuation from there, " Maynard said.
Two new board members were elected into the six-person body this year, and Neece won the mayoral election after serving as a board member.
Shelby and Christian County sheriff's departments were providing patrol to Moweaqua at night during Maynard's suspension and following Lamb's resignation. A spokesman for Shelby County law enforcement said he had no information Monday night on any extended plans for covering Moweaqua.