|Updated: 9/26/2012 11:35 am
||Published: 9/25/2012 11:26 pm
ENGLAND, AR – A Lieutenant in the England Police Department resigned Monday in response the Police Chief’s termination last week.
Herman Hutton was fired on September 19th. England Mayor Danny Maynard will not discuss why he fired Hutton, only saying it was a “personnel issue.” Hutton believes the termination was the result of religious discrimination.
“One of the first concerns [Maynard] told me was people in town were worried my preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ was having an effect on my job performance,” says Hutton.
Hutton says he filled-in at several churches, but only preached on his days off.
Lt. Douglas Bjork says he resigned because he does not trust in the mayor nor does he believe in the mayor’s leadership.
Bjork says Manor called a meeting of the police department on September 20th to inform them of Hutton’s termination. Bjork says Maynard declined to discuss the reasons for Hutton’s termination, saying it was a “personnel issue and leadership.”
Bjork says most of the department spoke out against the termination during that meeting.
In his resignation letter Bjork says “as an employee and a citizen of England, I feel that I do have the right to know the reason and I also have the right to stand up against an unjust act.”
Bjork isn’t the only one protesting Hutton’s termination. A petition is circulating through England to get the former chief back on the job. So far, it has 450 signatures.
Hutton says he plans on appealing his termination. His case will be heard in front of the city council on October 9th.