By Lori Tipton
Channel 2 News
8:55 PM AKDT, April 27, 2011
The city of Houston will soon face a temporary shutdown of its police department after its captain was dismissed by the Houston City Council Tuesday night. The move comes after the resignation of the department's two officers -- one who left more than a week ago and the other who has put in his notice.
Capt. Charley McAnally was dismissed by a 4-2 vote of the council after a complaint that McAnally lied about an investigation by the FBI involving the Mayor and a City Clerk. McAnally claims he did not lie.
"Like I told the council last night after they terminated me, I told them that they made a very foolish mistake because when we're in civil court with me suing them, the FBI agent will be there," McAnally said.
McAnally joined the Houston Police Department in October 2009 and became head of the Department several months ago.
He said he wasn't surprised by the council's decision. "To be able to get along with this current administration you've got to give up morals, ethics and basically be a bootlicker. I refuse to do all three," he said. "I'm going to keep my morals, I'm going to keep my ethics, and I can walk out of here a proud man knowing that I never gave in."
Mayor Virgie Thompson was one of the four council members who voted to terminate McAnally. She would not go into detail concerning why McAnally was fired. "I voted what I thought was best for the community," she said.
Thompson did confirm that the only remaining officer at Houston P.D. will be leaving May 6. She said she has already contacted Alaska State Troopers to see if the agency can help assist Houston until the city hires new officers.
"We will start the process that it takes to hire another police officer but it won't be something that we will just jump into," Thompson said. "We will make sure that we do all the proper background checks required to make sure we have a good officer for the city of Houston," she added.
McAnally alleges that the City Council's actions have hurt the community. "They've successfully closed down the PD and now the State Troopers are already stretched thin," he said.
McAnally isn't the first head of the Valley town's police department to be fired by the council.
Sgt. Charlie Seidl was dismissed in March 2010 after allegedly shooting dogs at the local animal shelter without authorization. Seidl, however, claimed that he was ordered to shoot the dogs.
Seidl also said he was fired in retaliation for publicizing a police cruiser's dashboard-camera video in which former Mayor Roger Purcell, who borrowed the vehicle for a trip to Fairbanks, is seen speeding and using its lights to pass traffic.
Purcell resigned in June, shortly before a petition to recall him would have gone before city voters.
Meanwhile, a separate recall effort by dozens of Houston residents against Thompson is moving forward. A recall petition was certified and now the Council will decide when to hold a special election. That issue is expected to be taken up at the council's May 12 meeting.
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