Tony Almengor, 44, was placed on administrative leave on Nov. 30 and then terminated Friday following a city council vote.
“We had had some citizen complaints related to a particular item then we also had internal complaints from within the police department and the city. I initially dealt with (it by) the first action I took (administrative leave), and the council came behind that,” Mayor Phil Cory said.
Cory did not discuss the issues in detail. However, he did say there were two basic reasons given for Almengor’s administrative leave and termination, and that the disciplinary action had nothing to do with his personal life or conduct with residents.
“This is not a big conspiracy …” he said. “It came down to some basic items, which I will refrain from talking about.”
But the mayor said the compensation matter simply involved some “internal confusion,” wasn’t a problem as far as he’s concerned and did not play a role in the termination.
Almengor called his termination “political” and maintained that he “has always policed from the heart.”
Almengor was appointed interim police chief about a year ago as a result of the resignation of the former chief and an officer, Cory said.
The city has invited an individual from another agency to succeed Almengor. Cory said there is not a set date for when that will take effect, but the city hopes it happens soon.
In the meantime, Cory is taking over administrative functions of the police department, and Officer April Rains is serving as officer in charge of daily operations.
“I can understand that it creates concern within the city. I understand that and as a mayor and city council we’re supposed to do whatever we can to eliminate the difficulties we’ve had (in the police department),” Cory said. “We do have some fine officers, but … the human nature and imperfections of (people exist). We will make every decision we can (now) to improve the department, and hopefully the citizens of Tatum will be patient as we do the best we can.”