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Police chief suspended, council to discuss future in Villa Hills
VILLA HILLS, Ky. (Joe Webb) -- Another round in the battle between the Villa Hills mayor and police chief.
The mayor suspended long time Chief Dan Goodenough last week and gave him until 5p.m. Wednesday to retire. That deadline has passed and the police chief's future will be the hot topic when Villa Hills' council members meet at 6p.m.
Mayor Mike Martin has made it clear he wants Chief Goodenough to leave his job. He thinks he has the support of the council to force him out. Wednesday night the mayor is expected to present formal charges, allegations not criminal charges, to the council in an effort to get rid of the long-time chief.
Dan Goodenough has been Villa Hills Chief for nine years and an Officer for 27. He's had repeated run-ins with Mayor Mike Martin. The troubled relationship came to a critical point last week when Martin suspended Goodenough.
"Basically gave him 7 days to leave the city and he's not going to do it," said Attorney Randy Freking.
Goodenough has hired Cincinnati employment attorneys Randy Freking and Kelly Myers to represent him. They've only seen a draft of the charges the mayor will level against the chief.
Freking said, "Broadly speaking, the charges are basically mismanagement. You should have done this or done that. Why didn't you do this back in 2013?"
Freking and Myers fear the Villa Hills council will fire the chief Wednesday night and deny him a full hearing. They argue the law guarantees the chief a full hearing before the civil service commission before he could be fired.
"We hope that won't be denied to the chief. That the charges will be seen as without merit and he'll be able to continue his position which he's held for many years," said Myers.
Mike Martin and Chief Goodenough have been at odds since the police department investigated him for fraud a few years ago. The charges against Martin were eventually dropped but he sued the city and the lawsuit was pending when he was elected. Martin says Goodenough will get a hearing but wouldn't say much more.
Mayor Martin tells us, "If there's some personnel issue going on I'm not at liberty to talk. It would be inappropriate to talk about personnel issues to anybody until things have been dealt with."
Freking says the allegations that he's seen are old and not worthy of firing anyone. He says the key issue is something else.
"It seems, like I said before, it's a political vendetta of some sort from the mayor," Freking said.
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