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Former deputy chief suspended for 5 days

[8/6/03]Police Capt. Jack Dowe, a former deputy chief, was suspended for five days in a personnel action taken this week by Vicksburg officials.

During a closed session Monday, the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen also voted to suspend another high-profile worker, Robert Hubbard, the city’s community improvement coordinator, for one day. They would not comment on the suspensions or what led to the actions.

“I’d rather not make a big deal out of their mistakes,” said Mayor Laurence Leyens.

Personnel matters are typically handled during sessions of the city board that are closed to the public, but actions must be reported during open meetings. Also in the Monday session, London Williams was hired as a police officer and the resignation of officer Janice Thomas was accepted.

Other action taken this week during a closed session Tuesday included a hearing regarding a personnel matter in the Vicksburg Fire Department and the hiring of an employee in the right-of-way department.

No action was reported from the firefighter’s hearing.

Since taking the chief’s post nearly two years ago, Chief Tommy Moffett has brought disciplinary actions to the city board at almost every meeting. Some of those have been as little as a one-day suspension for failing to turn in reports on time to as harsh as firings.

Moffett also once handed a two-day suspension to Deputy Chief Richard O’Bannon for making an inappropriate comment, although details of what led to the suspension were not made public.

Dowe was deputy chief under former Police Chief Mitchell Dent for about 19 months. Dent was replaced as chief by Moffett and for about a month served as deputy chief, pushing Dowe back into the rank-and-file of the police department.

Moffett has vowed to “clean up” the department by ending practices including ticket fixing, favoritism and politics within the department.