RUSSELLVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A Russellville police officer on suspension is back on the job again while an ethics investigation is underway for a city councilman.
Officer Brett Evans' attorney said Evans pulled over a friend of Councilman Arthur Elliott on Nov. 6., and that Elliott then asked Evans to "cut him a break." Elliott then called an executive session to look into Evans actions.
The mayor hired retired SBI investigator Darrell Tatum, who has 30 years of experience, to sort out the evidence involving officer Evans. He brought those findings to the city council.
The council then voted 5-0 to reinstate him with just Elliott abstaining. Now he's facing a possible ethics complaint.
Elliot admits to asking the officer for special treatment for Mark Hurley.
Records showed Hurley had no tags and no license and by law could not drive the car home.
"I don't know exactly how many tickets he got or what kind of tickets he got. We never discussed tickets. All I asked him to do is let Sharon drive the car home. That's it," Elliot said. "I said I'd much rather spend his $150 in Walmart or somewhere rather spend it out at Eddy Hicks body shop outside the county where we don't get any tax money from it."
Evan's attorney, Tony Hughes, said he had no business telling the officer what to do, and it's police policy to tow cars when they are issued certain citations.
"He did do his job and he did it correctly, I would go on to say that a city councilman has no business telling a police officer who is out there on the street conducting a traffic stop what he has to do or not to do, I think he is stepping out of line in doing so and that should not be happening," Hughes said.
The attorney's office will send their findings to the ethics commission in Montgomery.
Elliott said he's not worried at all and to bring on the investigation,
"Cause I did nothing wrong. Nothing. I never asked him to throw out a ticket or let a guy go and I can give you that guy's phone number if you want to ask him," Elliott said.
Russellville Police Chief Chris Hargett and Mayor David Grissom said they hope the city can move forward from this and work together as city leaders, employers and citizens to make Russellville a better place.
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