Those were Ward 2 Alderman Dr. Jack Varner’s thoughts on the suspension of Police Chief Jeff Curtis.
The Mayor and Board of Aldermen voted 3-2 Monday to suspend Curtis without pay for three days and require him to attend a conflict resolution class.
Curtis did not learn of the suspension until Tuesday morning when contacted by The Yazoo Herald.
“I was never notified officially by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of my three-day suspension, and there was no discussion of attending a conflict resolution class,” Curtis said, Tuesday morning. “I received no letters, no legal documents, no written formality.”
Curtis said the suspension stems from an alderman requesting information from the police department that he considered improper.
“I am being asked to provide information to an alderman that I don’t feel comfortable in providing,” Curtis said. “In my opinion, that is what led to this action.”
Curtis said he will more than likely resign from his post as police chief.
“I will not accept this action, and they will accept my letter of resignation,” he said.
Alderman Aubry Brent Jr. and Varner were in opposition of suspending Curtis.
“This is pet peeve coming from the mayor and an alderman trying to tend to police business where they have no business,” Varner said. “This suspension is a personal thing between (Curtis) and an alderman, and the mayor took the alderman’s side,” Varner continued. “(Curtis) has done nothing wrong. He has helped the police department. Absolutely ridiculous.”
Brent said the suspension comes on the heels of a recent misunderstanding between Curtis and Ward 3 Alderman Rev. Gregory Robertson.
“This is all on the grounds of (Curtis) was supposed to get some information to Gregory (Robertson), and he didn’t get it to him,” Brent said.
Brent said things got heated during the last board meeting’s executive session between Curtis and Robertson.
“But Jeff did apologize to the board and Gregory yesterday,” Brent said. “And Gregory accepted it. But he was then suspended on the grounds of insubordination to an alderman.”
Brent was he was totally against the suspension.
Robertson said he preferred not to comment on Curtis’ suspension until first speaking with Board Attorney Sarah O’Reilly-Evans.
But Robertson said he was surprised that Curtis had not been notified.
“The mayor was supposed to have notified him,” Robertson said. “When we take action in there, we leave it to the mayor to carry it out. I think it may have been that word just had not gotten to him yet.”
Robertson said he would have preferred for Curtis to hear it from the city first.
“It’s not a good place to hear something like that from someone else,” Robertson said.
Initially Ward 1 Alderman Ron Johnson said “nothing” really happened concerning the police chief during Monday’s meeting. But when pressed on the issue, he said he couldn’t comment on it since it was an executive session matter.
“He was supposed to have been notified yesterday by the mayor,” Johnson said. “I assumed when we left yesterday, he would have been informed.”
The mayor’s secretary told The Herald Tuesday morning that Delaware would not be in the office until Oct. 20.
Attempts to contact Delaware for comment by cellular phone and email were also unsuccessful by press time.