SARCOXIE, Mo. — An area police chief is suspended without pay and the mayor who suspended her takes to social media to explain his reasons.
On April 21st, the Sarcoxie Mayor, Don Triplett, requested the City’s Police Chief, Brandy Corum, resign her position.
But Corum declined the Mayor’s request, and two weeks later, he suspended her, without pay.
The requested resignation and subsequent suspension, according to the Mayor’s social media post, were not for any one particular issue, but instead stem from “several reasons.”
However, Fourstateshomepage.com has obtained a copy of the letter Chief Corum received, and in that letter, Triplett cites Chief Corum’s handling of an Amber Alert and the search for a missing child on April 15th as the primary reason for the disciplinary action. He cites Corum’s “willful disobedience and disrespect toward him.”
Triplett has appointed Tanner Rice, the city’s Assistant City Manager, as the acting police chief.
On May 5th, Chief Corum submitted an appeal to the City’s Board of Alderman,” appealing the disciplinary action and Triplett’s allegations.
“There is City Code for conduct for police officers and the Chief, but State Law has trumped that with respect to terminating a Chief. There’s specific requirements for presenting a case for terminating a Chief,” said Mayor Don Triplett, City of Sarcoxie.
Following Chief Corum’s appeal, the City of Sarcoxie will have 10 days to hold a council meeting to review her appeal. Mayor Triplett says that this meeting will be held sometime this coming week.
We will have more information about the contents of the Mayor’s letter to Chief Corum and the events of April 15th that led to the controversy and dispute between the two later this week.
Below is the statement, verbatim, from current Sarcoxie Mayor Don Triplett.
“I want to address the current situation with the Sarcoxie Police Department. I’ve been made aware of several concerns and questions about the current situation with Chief Corum and concerns about police coverage. I want there to be no misunderstanding as to what actually occurred.
On April 21, I requested the resignation of Chief Corum. This request was not made lightly, nor was it because of a single issue or difference of opinion. I noted several reasons why this request was necessary. It was offered with a slim hope of avoiding drama in our city and to assist her with future employment opportunities. Chief Corum has declined this request.
On May 4, 2023, I suspended Chief Corum for two weeks effective immediately. the written notice detailed the specific issue that led to this action and noted her right to appeal before the Board of Aldermen.
My request for her to resign and the details of her suspension are strictly personnel matters. Beyond confirming they happened, I will not provide any further comment on them.
During her suspension, I have asked Tanner Rice to fill in as acting chief. Tanner has worked in various aspects of city government for roughly eight years. He served as a full-time police officer in our department for over two years and his commitment to the city is been beyond reproach. Tanner is delegating most of his other city responsibilities to focus on this temporary role in the police department. I believe his experience, maturity and commitment to our community best suits our need during this situation.
Additionally, I have personally discussed our current situation with Sheriff Kaiser and Chief Deputy Walrod. Sheriff Kaiser has committed to helping as much as possible to provide emergency response to our community while we work through this matter. As a reminder, we have never been able to provide our citizens with 24/7 police protection. We have always relied on the sheriff’s office to assist with coverage when an officer was not on-duty. Acting Chief Rice will coordinate as appropriate with the sheriff’s office to ensure continued service to our community members.
I want to personally thank those who have reached out to ask questions and voice concerns. My hope is that this matter may continue to be handled civilly without unnecessary drama or disdain for our city. I believe the actions taken on this matter were made to ensure the department can fulfill its mission to “Protect life, property and individual rights of the citizens, business owners and visitors of the City of Sarcoxie” and do so in a manner that contributes to our goal of being the ‘Best Hometown Possible’,” said the message, signed by Triplett.
This is a developing story, and we will bring any available updates to fourstateshomepage.com