Mayor, 3 council members recommend firing police chief

Published on Tuesday, 17 June 2014 23:31 - Written by Kenneth Dean, kdean@tylerpaper.com

PALESTINE — The mayor and three council members earlier this week recommended City Manager Wendy Ellis terminate beleaguered Police Chief Robert Herbert. 

The meeting Monday was the result of public outcry and the entire police department stating it had no faith in Herbert’s leadership.

Last week, during a regularly scheduled council meeting, members heard from the Texas Municipal Police Association, which conducted a survey showing Herbert received the most negative scores a chief has been given in more than a decade.

Department members indicated zero percent had high morale, zero percent wanted to finish out their career in the department under his leadership, and none of the respondents indicated they had confidence in Herbert to lead the department into the future.

City Secretary Teresa Herrera told the Tyler Morning Telegraph on Tuesday that Mayor Therrell Thomas and council members Adam Hardy, Joseph Thompson and Mark Price voted to recommend Ellis terminate Herbert. Council members Vernon Denman, Vickey Chivers and Steve Presley all voted against the recommendation. 

Ms. Herrera said that although Ellis has been given the recommendation to fire Herbert, it was unclear what her plans were at this time.