• October 25, 2014

Morrison won’t reinstate fired mechanic

Killeen city manager rejects recommendation from personnel hearing board to rehire Acker

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Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 4:30 am

Killeen City Manager Glenn Morrison rejected a recommendation Wednesday from the Killeen Civilian Personnel Hearing Board to reinstate John Acker, a city mechanic who was fired in December.

“I have received and considered the Civilian Personnel Hearing Board’s nonunanimous recommendation regarding the termination of John Acker,” Morrison said in an email Wednesday. “I have also reviewed Police Chief Dennis Baldwin’s documentation and decision. I am upholding the police chief’s original action terminating Mr. Acker.”

Acker was fired Dec. 12 after admitting his role in the culture of theft that reportedly existed in the Killeen Fleet Services Division for several decades.

The 18-year city employee appealed his termination at a public grievance hearing last week, arguing that he was treated unfairly in the case.

A police investigation of the division performed in October reported that nearly all 24 fleet services employees participated in the theft and misconduct.

Acker also sued the city under the Texas Whistleblower Act, a case expected to go to trial in Bell County district court in early 2014.

Acker’s attorney, Bill Aleshire, said the May 7 personnel board hearing included false testimony from Baldwin.

During the hearing, Baldwin said Acker assisted former Fleet Services Director John Strickland in a theft at the city’s motor pool in 2002 — a claim that Aleshire calls “an unconscionable lie.”

“I am glad to see (the board) didn’t fall for that,” Aleshire said. “He (Acker) was a bit player and used like a pawn. He even provided a key piece of evidence in that case.”

Strickland was convicted of theft, less than $500, in 2003.

According to the city, the board’s decision was not unanimous, but it did not provide how each individual member ruled.

“We don’t know who voted how,” Aleshire said.

Aleshire also represents Barbara Gonzales, the former city finance director who was fired the same day as Acker. Gonzales also filed a lawsuit against the city under the Texas Whistleblower Act.

Morrison rejected the board’s unanimous recommendation to reinstate Gonzales on May 2.

“The public should begin to see that there are serious personnel management problems with the Morrison administration,” Aleshire said. “The city manager has never upheld a recommendation that didn’t agree with his previous decision.”

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8 comments:

  • Randy Johnson posted at 9:00 pm on Fri, May 17, 2013.

    Randy Johnson Posts: 20

    Tax payers will always lose when the big shots act as they do. I heard that Glenn backstabbed to the top starting back in the 80's. Just pull public record and see how many promotions that he has had. No one has more!!!!! Rec Supt. To CEO in Zero to 20 years. I can betcha in that time, he took something home that belonged to the city..

     
  • el residente posted at 11:57 pm on Thu, May 16, 2013.

    el residente Posts: 12

    I agree, theft comes in many forms -like offering up $750,000 to silence the former city mgr., $30,000 to silence an employee/girlfriend, and $16,000+ to wine and dine with his pals in Washington. Randy mentioned he never could bat a thousand. Sounds like he's found a new game. Unfortunately, in this one, the taxpayers always lose.

     
  • Viktor posted at 10:50 pm on Thu, May 16, 2013.

    Viktor Posts: 317

    Ridiculous & unprofessional actions within city continue as usual. Stealing is wrong but let's be real. Theft comes in many forms. What else would one call using tax dollars to fund pet projects for friends of the city? Or has that never happened in the city of Killeen?

     
  • Max67 posted at 10:27 pm on Thu, May 16, 2013.

    Max67 Posts: 63

    They lied about Acker's past to try to justify their obviously disparate treatment of him. It wasn't really a factor in Acker's termination, but if it had been, did they look into the pasts of the other 18-19 employees who participated, often taking much larger items? The thefts date back to '94, so they have plenty of history to consider for the others - and plenty of witnesses.

    They also made no distinction between the value of the items taken, but rather just "across the board" issued written warnings or verbally counseled "almost" everyone else.

    I don't think they would want to call it organized crime for many reasons, but at a minimum, it would mean they couldn't just use the shoddy investigation (if you can call it an investigation) to get rid of the people they wanted to be able to hand select.
    It would also mean that a cop was involved in organized crime.

    It doesn't sound like they thought much of it, especially since they just accepted whatever was returned (primarily items from the recycle bin that people felt safe returning), issued those warnings/conducted that verbal counseling and didn't look into what could've been taken without being returned.

    The police chief in charge of the investigation didn't even think the police officer involved should be expected to know that it wasn't OK to use city resources for personal gain. It's been stated the investigation yielded no reliable results (no facts concerning what was taken, when it was taken, or who was aware of items being taken).

    Is that how the police chief runs his investigations? Does he always just ask people to bring in anything they took with the understanding they'll be given complete amnesty - with no consideration of what else might've been taken?

    I think Chief Baldwin and Glenn Morrison have found a way to solve Killeen's crime problems. They can just publish an ad in the paper - asking everyone to bring back any items they've ever taken - and all will be well.

    I think people might want to start thinking about the real motivation behind this "investigation" and consider who might REALLY be robbing the taxpayers blind.

     
  • Randy Johnson posted at 8:49 pm on Thu, May 16, 2013.

    Randy Johnson Posts: 20

    Its the only way he can bat a thousand. Back in his younger days he couldnt hit the wind in baseball or his so called Fastpitch days. He just needs to retire...

     
  • Alvin posted at 4:00 pm on Thu, May 16, 2013.

    Alvin Posts: 207

    I guess that was a pretty good lead in, 'Morrison rejects civilian boards recommendation', again. He's batting a thousand, Rejected all of the boards recommendations. Nobody should have that power. Where's the city council and how do they feel about this? As someone has said, 'He's the judge and jury', nobody can over-rule him. And what did Acker's attorney, Bill Aleshire have to say 'May 7 personnel board hearing included false testimony from Baldwin.

    During the hearing, Baldwin said Acker assisted former Fleet Services Director John Strickland in a theft at the city's motor pool in 2002 – a claim that Alshire calls “an unconscionable lie'''. So where is the truth. Is the city manager telling the true facts or is he just sweeping the floor to clear all debris. What are the true facts in these cases and the numerous lawsuits that will be handled by another attorney?

     
  • Eliza posted at 3:54 pm on Thu, May 16, 2013.

    Eliza Posts: 825


    Every thief deserves some form of punishment, and any others, who are guilty of the same offense, and especially stealing from the same source. needs to be punished in the same manner.

    It was stated at Mr. Acker's review board, he had been involved once before in missing city property, taken from the Killeen tax payer. The person who had taken the property was removed from employment and charged with theft under $500.00.

    But if supposedly, Mr. Acker was involved with a previous theft (which his attorney said in above article is a lie) and that is the reason he is not to have his job returned,

    Nearly all who were involved in this most recent stealing from the tax payer investigation themselves, have two or more incidents of stealing in their history of employment with the city and from the same source as Aker has been accused.

    There were admissions of guilt from many others in the police investigation pertaining to this case.

    One admission had an employee state, he had stolen nuts and bolts and oil at times, it may not seem like enough to worry about, but how are tax payers suppose to know if that's totally the truth? That it was all he had taken ? But it shows, the person had more then one incident of supposed theft, the same as Mr. Acker is accused.

    But unlike Mr.. Acker,
    the nuts and bolts person and others who had stolen more then once, bigger items and more expensive then nuts and bolts, were able to keep their jobs, They even receive free time to return the stolen goods.

    it doesn't make for good sense thinking or fairness among employees.

    Since so many (I believe 18-19 employees out of 26 ? ) at the same location were involved, and so many knew when each other were going to take city property, or assisted others in taking city property. This would be what some have called Organized Crime.

    It was organized to have gone on for so many years with so many on site, some even suppose to be 'in charge' but yet no one ever thought to tell the people they were being robbed blind. Not much loyalty to the tax payer.

    (Isn't this the same city government who were raising heck about the 100% disabled veterans getting a tax break not too long ago?)

    But yet, with paying out for law suits, pay offs for ex city managers etc. etc., and now this comes up, who is running the city, where the tax payer is getting kicked in the rear by the people who have a job only because, of those tax payers.

    A good thing really that Ms. Gonzales was the reason of this being brought to the publics attention. How much more might have been taken from wherever in the city. The people will never know if all of their property has been returned, they are just out the hard earned money of their tax dollars that bought the property.


    KPD Fleet Services Investigation

    Brandon Janes | Posted: Sunday, April 14, 2013 4:30 am


    Texas Penal Code Chapter 71. TITLE 11. ORGANIZED CRIME

    Sec. 71.01. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter,

    (a) "Combination" means three or more persons who collaborate in carrying on criminal activities, although:


    (1) participants may not know each other's identity;

    (2) membership in the combination may change from time to time; and

    (3) participants may stand in a wholesaler-retailer or other arm's-length relationship in illicit distribution operations.

    (b) "Conspires to commit" means that a person agrees with one or more persons that they or one or more of them engage in conduct that would constitute the offense and that person and one or more of them perform an overt act in pursuance of the agreement. An agreement constituting conspiring to commit may be inferred from the acts of the parties.

    (c) "Profits" means property constituting or derived from any proceeds obtained, directly or indirectly, from an offense listed in Section 71.02.


     
  • Randy Johnson posted at 3:44 pm on Thu, May 16, 2013.

    Randy Johnson Posts: 20

    I thought Glenn was friends with Acker. Wonder whats goin on with that.

     

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