Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

March 18, 2013

Galveston still without town marshal

Attorney: Meeting not legally advertised.

By Ken de la Bastide
Tribune enterprise editor

Galveston — The town of Galveston will continue to operate without a town marshal until at least April 1, following the retirement of Marshal Mike Clark last week.

Approximately 10 Galveston residents appeared at the town hall Monday for a meeting of the Galveston Town Council, during which an interim marshal was to be named.

Jeff Stanton, the town’s attorney, informed residents the meeting could not take place because it was not legally advertised, as required by the Indiana Open Door Law. Clark was not at the meeting.

Pat Gunnell, town council president, said an interim marshal would be named at the council’s regular meeting on April 1.

Until that time, full-time officers Shawn Durham and Scott Turney will oversee the operations of the police department.

Clark, a member of the department since 1986, and marshal since 2011, informed council members he was retiring during an administrative meeting March 12.

Gunnell said Friday that during the administrative meeting, council members voiced support for Clark’s policy that paid police officers live within the town limits.

She said Clark told council members he wasmoving out of town and suddenly announced his intention to retire.

Clark’s last day is March 31, but he is currently using vacation time.

“He wanted the town council to allow him to live out of town,” Gunnell said. “He wanted us to make an exception to his own rule. The town doesn’t have a rule.”

Last year, the council gave Clark a one-time raise of $5,338, taking his salary to approximately $40,000 for the year.

The council did conduct an executive session Monday for the purpose of receiving information concerning an employee’s alleged misconduct.

Acting on the advise of their attorney, town officials would provide no information about the executive session or what department is involved.

Stanton said the executive session was for council members to receive information and no official action would be taken.