Politics Or Paper Towels
|According to which lawyer you believe, Captain Bill
Shirk was dismissed by Loudon County sheriff, Tim Guider, either for
taking copies of jail papers and buying too many paper towels or just
plain old politics. These were essentially the starting points for each
side at Thursday's Merit Board hearing.
The hearing was requested by Shirk after he was dismissed by Guider back in July for the second time in as many years. According to Guider's attorney, Bob Bowman, who also represents Doyle Arp and county commission, Shirk was dismissed for among other things, removing copies of jail requisition forms and jail inspection reports and buying too many paper towels. Shirks attorney, David Wiggler, maintains that Shirk's dismissal stems from his refusal to support Chief Deputy, Tony Aikens and deputy Tony Arden after they were indicted by a Loudon County Grand Jury in 2005. Even though their names were invoked a number of times, neither Aikens nor Arden were present at the hearing.
Much of Thursday's hearing was taken up by testimony and cross examination of Guider by Wiggler. Late in the day, several other witnesses for both sides were called to support each sides position. Guider's attorney spent much of his day attempting to show the Merit Board members that Guider had cause and had followed all the requirements to fire Shirk. Shirk's attorney spent most of his day attempting to show that Shirk's firing was discriminatory motivated by politics and that Shirk had been singled out for termination for actions that other officers readily admitted they had done, namely taking certain jail papers home with them.
After five hours of testimony, and without having yet heard from Mr. Shirk, Merit Board members, Commissioner Don Miller, Bob Frankie and Wayne Gardin, determined to dismiss the meeting and to continue it to Monday. Day two of the meeting is set for Monday, December 3rd at 1:00 at the Court House Annex. The board will ultimately have to uphold the sheriff's actions or reverse the sheriff and reinstate Shirk to his position.
Captain Shirk was fired by Sheriff Guider about two years ago but was ultimately reinstated.