CUBA, MO (KPLR) – They feel their city is playing politics with its police department. Residents concerned over the firing of 4 Cuba, Mo police officers rallied outside city hall before Tuesday’s board of alderman meeting. Some wore t-shirts and carried signs calling for Police Chief Paul Crow to be terminated.
The officers’ supporters say no reason was given for the terminations of Adam Carnal, Ben Scharfenberg, Jason Wilkerson, and Mike Sherman. City attorney Lance Thurman says the board of alderman holds the power to hire and fire. He said the board exercised that power following a recommendation from Crow. The city also demoted Doug Shelton and Nathan Rhoades.
The firings and demotions come on the heels of an investigation into the chief. One alderman reported the chief made a threat indicating he had bullets with the alderman’s name on it. The board received a list of complaints signed by 11 officers. A statement from the city says the investigation by the Missouri State Highway Patrol is over and found no criminal wrongdoing by the chief.
Several relatives of the fired officers spoke before the council Tuesday night. Christina Sherman, the wife of fired officer Mike Sherman, spoke on behalf of a group supporting the officers. She told members how dedicated the officers were to serving.
“You have taken these men’s careers away from them. These weren’t jobs, these were careers,” said Sherman.
Another speaker said the council should have moved the meeting to a bigger facility. Some supporters stood in the hallway because there was no room to sit inside the council chambers.
“You should have to see very face that you’ve upset,” said one speaker.
The attorney for the fired officers, Travis Noble, is looking into possible legal action against the city. City attorney Lance Thurman believes the board has the legal authority to fire the officers. Chief Crow did not attend Tuesday’s meeting.