Attorney Calls Allegations Against Richard Jennings "Preposterous"

August 14, 2007
Dwayne Page

Lebanon attorney Adam Parrish predicts that former Smithville Police Lieutenant Richard Jennings, who was fired on Thursday, will soon be vindicated and he calls the allegations against his client "preposterous"

Jennings was terminated from the Smithville Police Department for alleged violations of police department policies and procedures as well as possible violations of state and federal law. He is accused of removing weapons, inventory files, ammunition, and other items from the police department, some of which were allegedly found in his personal possession.

Parrish, in a telephone conversation with WJLE Friday afternoon, said " We think the allegations against Mr. Jennings are preposterous. They are nothing more than an attempt to discredit and humiliate him, simply because Mr. Jennings is privy to information that is particularly damaging to Chief (Tom) Stufano and the department. It's our belief he will be completely vindicated before the five man board."

Jennings was placed on suspension with pay pending termination on Friday, August 3rd, following an internal police department investigation.

On Thursday afternoon, the case against Jennings was presented to the city's discipline hearing authority, which is made up of Mayor Taft Hendrixson, Police Commissioner Cecil Burger, and City Recorder Burnace Vandergriff. After hearing the evidence, the vote was 3 to 0 to terminate Jennings.

Neither Jennings nor his attorney were present for Thursday's hearing. Jennings was aware of the hearing but Parrish notified city attorney John Pryor that Jennings was waiving his right to appear before the three member discipline board and would appeal his case to the entire board of mayor and aldermen, which has the final say, at the next meeting on Monday, August 20th at 7:00 p.m.

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