Brookhaven fires assistant police chief

Published 1:06 pm Monday, January 22, 2024

The City of Brookhaven has dismissed one of its top law officers.

On Monday, City Clerk Samantha Melancon said the Board of Aldermen had issued an ultimatum to Assistant Police Chief Clint Earls on Friday, Jan. 19, to resign by 5 p.m. or be terminated.

Melancon said Earls was told of the decision Friday afternoon after a closed-door executive session, and no response had been given on the matter since. An official letter was mailed to Earls Friday.

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“He has 10 days to appeal from the date of the letter,” Melancon said.

If Earls decides to appeal the decision, he would contact the City Clerk’s Office to arrange a meeting with the Board.

“It was strictly a personnel matter,” Mayor Joe Cox said Monday.

The Board of Aldermen met for an abbreviated meeting via conference call on Tuesday, Jan. 16, due to severe winter weather. After a few minutes of approving regular payments and suggested employee hirings, the Board moved into an executive session. The executive session was tabled and set to be continued on Friday morning.

At the meeting’s continuation, the personnel matter was discussed, and aldermen voted 5-2 to present the assistant police chief with the option to resign or be fired. Minutes show the two who voted against the termination were Ward 3 Alderman Rev. Charles Caston Sr. and Ward 5 Alderman Fletcher Grice. Voting for the move were Ward 1 Alderman James Magee Jr., Ward 2 Alderman Shannon Moore, Ward 4 Alderman Jeff Henning, Ward 6 Alderman Andre’ Spiller, and Alderman-at-large Don Underwood.

Earls has been with the Brookhaven Police Department 32 years. The Detective Captain was named Assistant Chief following the 2022 retirement of then-Assistant Chief Chris Case.

Neither Earls nor Police Chief Kenneth Collins were immediately available for comment Monday afternoon.