“During this week I have done a lot of thinking in regards to the latest issues that have taken place in the City as well as the Police Department,” wrote former Teague Chief of Police Daniel Ramsey, in a statement hand-delivered to citizens in attendance at the special called meeting of the Teague City Council on Friday, August 25, 2017.
“The events leading up to where I am today only solidifies my belief in our God almighty. My first thought was to get angry, however after a lot of praying and my strong faith in God accompanied by the support of this community I decided to look at this another way,” Ramsey continued.
“I have come to the conclusion that as the head law enforcement officer of this city it is imperative that I continue to lead by example as I have always done in my career. To do otherwise would change my belief in the system that I have protected for 35 years.”
“The petty grievous allegations outlined in the incomplete bias internal investigation that was conducted, is a personal attack on my integrity as a person and the profession I serve.”
Ramsey’s candid statement followed his suspension on Friday, August 18th and the Council’s regular meeting on Monday, August 21st, where he was the focus of the meeting’s closed executive session.
Aldermen, along with City Administrator/Secretary Theresa Prasil, and the City’s attorney, spent nearly two hours in closed session, reviewing allegations of an Internal Affairs investigation conducted by Prasil.
Ramsey was accompanied to both meetings by his attorney, Chris Martin.
According to Martin’s official response, Ramsey was not given the findings of the internal affairs investigation until Monday night, August 21st, at the beginning of the Council meeting.
When the Council concluded their closed session on Monday evening, Mayor Earnest Pack announced that the item would be tabled until Friday, August 25th at 1 p.m.
“Everything remains the same,” concluded Mayor Pack, regarding Ramsey’s ongoing suspension.
The Internal Affairs Complaint Notification, delivered to Ramsey at the time of his suspension on August 18th, alleges four violations of City policies in regards to conduct and procedures.
According to Martin’s official response on behalf of his client, Dan Ramsey:
“It is clear from the beginning of this whole process that these frivolous and allegedly minor city policy violations were contrived to cover up some other agenda by the City Administrator and one or more Council members to create a hostile work environment to force Chief Ramsey out of the Teague Chief of Police position.”
“It begs the question,” he continued, “if there was Open Meetings Act violations leading up to the events of August 18, 2017.”
“What is clear is this whole process has been one sided and handled with a complete lack of competence. The wonderful citizens of Teague deserve better than what this City Administrator and Board of Aldermen has done to Chief of Police Dan Ramsey.”
Detailed in the full internal affairs report are four allegations of policy violations against Ramsey, including:
Violation of City Personnel Manual Policy: Personal Conduct – 2 Prohibited Behavior (#16): Failure of refusal to cooperate with fellow employees or to follow instruction or supervisory officials.
Violations of the Teague Police Department Policy – 12 Personnel-Complaint Procedures: Supervisory personnel shall initiate a Personnel Incident Form when they become aware of an infraction by any member of the Department; Violations designated as Level II infractions shall be investigated entirely at line supervisor level. Non-disciplinary action, unless forwarded to Chief of Police for a formal investigation, will also be conducted at the line supervisor level.
According to City Administrator Prasil’s full report, these allegations originate from a July 12, 2017 incident between two Teague Police Officers. The report alleges that Ramsey refused to cooperate with the City Administrator, and did not initiate a Personnel Incident Form or conduct and investigation into the complaint.
The report went on to mention two more allegations of policy violations, including:
City Personnel Manual Policy: Personal Conduct – 2 Prohibited Behavior (#24): Carelessness of inefficiency in the performance of duties, including disregarding applicable safety or work regulations
Violations of the Teague Police Department Policy – 1A Code of Conduct: Professional Conduct and Personal Bearing. Dereliction of duty on the part of any employee, detrimental to the proper performance of the functions of the Department, is cause for corrective action.
The report details a May 20, 2017 incident regarding the training and code of conduct of another Teague Police Officer, and alleges that Ramsey carelessly refused to address the incident involving the officer, and failed to immediately take action when a violation of rules or regulations was presented.
Numerous supporters and concerned citizens were present at Monday night’s meeting, waiting anxiously to hear the fate of their Chief of Police. Many in attendance chose to speak to the positive contributions and influence of Ramsey.
Speakers admitted that they were unaware of the events that lead to Ramsey being suspended, and subsequently placed on the Council’s agenda, but felt compelled to attend the meeting to show their support and admiration.
These supporters once again filled the Council’s meeting room on Friday to stand behind Ramsey, but were disheartened to find an agenda item calling for a vote of no confidence, and removal from office.
Before the meeting closed to executive session, Martin requested that discussion involving his client be held in open session.
Aldermen closed the meeting to meet with the City Attorney.
During this time, citizens in attendance were given time to read Ramsey’s statement, ultimately announcing his resignation.
“I have served this community honorably since October 2015 and have not received any discipline. My evaluation was excellent and my accomplishments to this community have been many,” wrote Ramsey.
“The support that I have from the Community only exemplifies the honorable work that has been accomplished. The crime rate has dropped and the clearance rate went from 10% to 65%, well above the national average. The activities that we started here brought the community to a point where they feel comfortable to get out with their families and enjoy themselves.”
“When my attorney asked for an extension so I could properly address the allegations I saw a reaction from the members of this council that indicated to me their decision was already made. This was only confirmed by the agenda today which indicated there would be a vote of no confidence. So it would be futile to answer these questions,” he continued.
“There has already been a vote of no confidence conducted by the citizens however it is not against me, it’s against the City Council and the City Administration. Because of this, my wife and I can no longer be part of a governmental body that feels it’s ok to subject employees to a hostile working environment. My family and I want the citizens of our community to know how humbled we are by their support. We have a home here and we will remain here because this is our community.
“Because of these events, I hereby tend my resignation effective immediately.”
After forty minutes in executive session, the Council re-opened the meeting, with Alderman Ron Rasbeary making a motion to accept Ramsey’s resignation, with a second from Alderman Chris Nickelberry and a unanimous vote by the Council.