OZARK – Ozark’s police chief and a police captain were both abruptly terminated Tuesday night after allegations of inappropriate behavior were reportedly verified by the mayor.
Ozark Mayor Mark Blankenship said during a Wednesday morning press conference that an investigation into “allegations of inappropriate and unprofessional behavior” involving Chief Marlos Walker and Capt. Tim Hicks began Friday following a briefing.
Blankenship and City Clerk Denise Strickland interviewed several past and present city employees that seemed to verify the allegations, Blankenship said.
Those findings were brought to the city council and the city attorney during an executive session on Tuesday. Upon reconvening to the public portion of the meeting, the council voted to remove Walker from his position, effective immediately.
Blankenship and Strickland then terminated Hicks based on “policy and procedural violations.”
“Details of these findings will not be discussed due to the nature of the findings and the others that are involved,” Blankenship said.
He later added that the violations were more of a policy issue than a legal or criminal issue and declined to say whether the allegations were sexual in nature.
Later Tuesday night, Blankenship appointed retired state Trooper Charles Ward as interim police chief until a replacement can be found.
Walker was hired as Ozark’s police chief in 2015 while he was the police chief for the City of Abbeville, a position he resigned.
Sable Riley is a Dothan Eagle staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 334.712.7915. Support her work and that of other Eagle journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today at dothaneagle.com.