I found out a few weeks ago that the city of Byrnes Mill hired Bob Sweeney to be its city attorney. I opined then that the council must not be familiar with Google, because a quick search would have let them know this was a bad move (unless they want to get in on his hijinks).
On a related note, Byrnes Mill just hired a new police chief, C. Michael Seibert. I wonder, when the mayor and aldermen did so, if they were aware that a policewoman from Bolivar, Missouri, where he served as chief until June 2011, filed an Missouri Commission on Human Rights (MCHR) complaint, and then filed a lawsuit, against the city of Bolivar due to alleged discrimination by her superiors at the police department there. The complaints portray a department that from the top down was hostile to Amanda Blake, the only female officer in the department. The case, in the process of being tried in Polk County, is Amanda Blake vs. City of Bolivar, case number 12PO-CC00015. A status review hearing is set for March 14.
When reading the Leader article about Seibert’s hiring, I thought it was odd that “he retired from his job in Bolivar when a new mayor was elected.” I’m not sure why that in itself would require an unforced resignation. Furthermore, he didn’t resign to retire, but to become a mere deputy sheriff in Polk County. It turns out he announced his resignation (in April 2011) about six weeks before Blake filed her MCHR complaint against the Bolivar police. She was fired in November 2010. Maybe the complaint and the resignation are related. Coverage in the Bolivar paper (for which I paid $1 to access) does not suggest any link, and is favorable to the chief.
Seibert does have some strong points on his resume, including being named 2007 Outstanding Missouri Police Chief and serving as treasurer of the Missouri Police Chiefs Association. However, the allegations in the complaint and lawsuit are troubling. I have to believe the subject of this lawsuit came up during Seibert’s job interview. I don’t know if there are any lady cops in Byrnes Mill, but if there are, they have to be a bit unsettled if they know about this lawsuit.
Note: Byrnes Mill isn’t the only city in Jefferson County that employs a police chief that is the subject of a discrimination lawsuit. The other one’s last name rhymes with ‘hockey’ and he is the chief of a city that’s name rhymes with ‘carnold.’