The vote came after several months of contention between Payne and Mayor Anna Berry. In March, Berry placed Payne on administrative leave, first citing budget and staffing issues, but later claiming insubordination. The council voted in April to reinstate him.
But at a hearing today, the vote was 4-2 against Payne. Thirteen residents turned out for the meeting, most in support of Payne.
Berry said after the hearing that Payne’s alleged insubordination stemmed from how he organized the department’s work schedule. After Payne would not place some officers on desired shifts, Berry handed scheduling responsibilities to City Clerk Terri Daulton.
Payne, displeased with the council’s decision, said he felt the council members were unfair.
“I didn’t agree with it at all, and I don’t know how anyone could be that unreasonable with the facts at hand,” he said.
Payne’s attorney Jason Odom said they will challenge the council’s decision.
Get the full story in Saturday’s Star.