East Ridge parts ways with police chief after months-long investigation

The City of East Ridge says it has officially fired its police chief after months of internal investigation. (Image: WTVC)

The City of East Ridge says it has officially fired its police chief after months of internal investigation.

A city statement released Thursday night says effective March 13, J.R. Reed is no longer police chief.

In November 2018, Reed was put on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation. Assistant Chief Stan Allen took over as acting chief of police.

We learned in December that Assistant City Manager Kenny Custer sent a letter to Chief Reed on November 21st.

In the letter, Custer said the investigation related to several matters, including:

  • An internal financial audit of confiscated funds and goods
  • Lack of department leadership
  • Management of investigations
  • Handling of open records requests
  • Allowing a hostile employee environment to exist

Custer told Reed he had to comply with the investigation, and not to contact any city staff or employees unless authorized to do so by Custer himself. You can read the letter here.

The city's new statement reads as follows:

"Effective March 13, 2018, the City of East Ridge made the decision to release Police Chief J.R. Reed. In November 2018, Reed was placed on administrative leave due to matters relative to his position with the East Ridge Police Department.
After several months of investigation, the administration for the City determined the separation with Chief Reed was deemed necessary."

A spokesperson for the city says that Stan Allen will serve as interim chief as they search for a replacement.

Depend on us to update you as we learn more.

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