The Geraldine Town Council plans to meet Tuesday night and vote on what actions to take with the assistant police chief, who was suspended with pay last month for posting provocative comments on Facebook.
Mayor Chuck Ables said the council will convene at 5:30 p.m. for their regular work session and begin the council meeting as soon as that is complete. Ables said the council will go into Executive Session, leaving the council chamber to discuss good name and character in the mayor’s office. There will not be an opening for public comment at the meeting.
“At that time, we will discuss the recommendation of the ‘impartial decision maker’ that heard the evidence last Tuesday night,” he said.
At the due process hearing for Assistant Police Chief Jeff Buckles on Feb. 25, Ables announced that Buckles requested that hearing be held in private. An independent third party heard from Buckles and others behind closed doors to produce a formal recommendation for the town council and mayor to act upon. Buckles could be re-instated, suspended for an additional length of time or face termination.
Buckles apologized on his personal Facebook for “venting on FB” after an earlier comment disparaging U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went viral, saying the post “definitely offended” some people. He said he was triggered by Pelosi ripping apart a copy of President Trump’s State of the Union Speech.
“Pelosi just ripped up his speach [sic],” Buckles wrote in the public post, which since appears to have been deleted or removed from public view. “Road Side bomb on her way home and any other Dumbocrats.”
Ables said he has received calls from people claiming to be from at least 10 states expressing opinions about Buckles and his social media posts. He said Geraldine has a Policy and Procedure Manual for police officers that addresses what they can share on social media, both on- and off-duty.
The mayor said the town did not realize when they rescheduled the regular council meeting that it would fall on Election night. One of the council members is in the GOP Primary Election for a county commission seat.
“We expect to be finished before the polls close at 7 p.m.,” he said.