MOWEAQUA — More than two weeks after the resignation of Moweaqua's police chief and its only full-time officer, village leaders have not said publicly how, or if, they plan to fill the positions or made any comment on reasons for the departures.
Former Chief Rob Maynard resigned Oct. 30, a day before he was to return from a one-week suspension, and officer Chad Lamb resigned earlier in October. Dozens of residents questioned the reasons for Maynard's suspension at a village meeting Oct. 24. Mayor Boomer Neece and board members said they could not comment on the disciplinary actions that preceded the two resignations but would be able to if Maynard signed a waiver allowing it.
Since then, Maynard, a 15-year veteran of the department, has signed over a copy of his personnel file to the Herald & Review. Still, Neece has not returned five calls to the mayor's office in the past week, and multiple email messages sent to him and village's six trustees have gone unanswered.
In October, three board members responded to messages, saying they could not comment. "If the chief were to sign the release I would be more that happy to speak to you," Trustee Shawn Conlin wrote in an email.
After Maynard signed over his personnel file last week, it was handed directly from the village clerk to a reporter from the Herald & Review. Still, officials either declined to comment or did not return messages.
Documents in Maynard's personnel file appear to confirm his claim that he never received formal complaints in his career at the Moweaqua Police Department until last summer. Maynard alleged last week that he was a target of "discrimination" by a newly elected Moweaqua government that came on board in May.
The recent chain of actions from village officials starts with a legal memo from village attorney Ed Flynn dated June 19. It asks Maynard to formally confirm he received a number of issues related to his performance: "Control and/or manage the only employee that reports to you; be engaged in public events; mix up the hours of employment."
A month later, the village board said in a written reprimand that Maynard had not improved in the concerned areas, citing a failure of Maynard to communicate with Lamb over a police call at Casey's General Store. The same memo also stated Maynard did not provide officials with a statistics report of police activity.
Maynard defended his actions in an interview last week after the Herald & Review obtained the disciplinary form for his one-week suspension. When asked Wednesday about other allegations in his personnel file, the former police chief said he had signed a nondisclosure agreement with a new employer and could no longer talk to the news media. He would not say what his new job is.
His latest performance evaluations as police chief cover his first three years, which show adequate marks and no complaints. Later years were not included in his file.
Shelby County Sheriff Don Koonce said Oct. 31 that Moweaqua's law enforcement needs will be covered fully by his department. Asked how his office would provide the help, whether through extra shifts or deputies, the sheriff said his deputies would be serving “the taxpayers of Moweaqua with law enforcement, that is what we will be doing.”
The sheriff's office did not respond to two requests for comment for this story.
The village board's next meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, at the village hall, 122 N. Main St.