Fraternal Order Of Police Stands Up Against Spencer City Manager

Friday, May 2nd 2014, 5:51 pm
By: News 9

The union representing Spencer's Police Officers released a letter to City Council members calling for action against City Manager Nicole Mukes after the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 153 members unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in Mukes.

"This was unanimous," said FOP Lodge 153 President Douglas W. Spencer. "The city manager continues to give the officers the impression that retaliation, fear of doing their jobs."

The letter cites "many instances of mismanagement, lack of leadership and misconduct" by Mukes. Among those allegations in the letter, the FOP stated that the City Manager " attempted to circumvent the chain of custody of police evidence that has compromised a criminal investigation case. That evidence was placed in an unsecured city owned building, at the direct order of Ms. Mukes. As a result, the evidence has since been stolen."

The Attorney General's Office also confirmed to News 9 that a complaint had been filed against Mukes this week. A spokeswoman could not comment further on what the complaint was about or if an investigation had been launched.

News 9 tried contacting Ms. Mukes for comment on the "no confidence" vote but calls and visits to her home and officer went unanswered. Staff at the Spencer City Hall told News 9 that Mukes was not in the office and would not be back until "around Monday." Mukes did respond in an email Friday evening stating, "I just received this. I am currently out of state and have only been told of the letter of no confidence. I have not had a chance to review the letter nor have I been contacted about a complaint from the Attorney General's office. I am unable to respond to your request until I have an ample opportunity to review the concerns, the complaint, and visited with the city attorney and the city council."

The FOP also called out the decision to place Police Chief Virgil Green has been on leave. Virgil said he has been on paid administrative leave since mid-April. Green told News 9 that the decision to take him off the job stemmed, in part, from a paperwork issue regarding the replacement of a sewer line at the police station.

"We have a sewer line problem at the police department, which is a public works matter and as a result of that, she stated that I didn't secure a requisition request for a purchase order to get that line replaced," explained Green. "So as a result I was in error of a state purchasing laws which to this point, there hasn't been anything purchased."

Green also told News 9 that Mukes accused him of not completing an assigned emergency plan. He disagreed with that stating that he and the Spencer Fire Chief worked on the plan together but only the fire chief presented the plan because of a scheduling conflict.

"It appears that there has been a lot of things that has been brought on by the city manager is personal in nature and not any direct conduct on my part. Haven't ever been disciplines, haven't ever received any written reprimands so there's a lot of questions as to why things like this continue to occur," said Green.

Green said he and his attorney were scheduled to meet with Mukes in mid-May for a disciplinary hearing.

Others want change now, and are putting pressure on the councilmembers to do it. Doug Spencer said Mukes has been a distraction to the force that works to keep the citizens of Spencer safe.

"We're begging the city council, take some action. Stop condoning Ms. Mukes' behavior."

Several of the Spencer City Council members told us they would be looking into these allegations. They also confirmed the Spencer Fire Chief resigned today.