Muncey resigns as police chief
MADISON – After a seven-month stretch on administrative leave, Larry Muncey has resigned as Chief of Madison Police Department.
Mayor Paul Finley and Madison City Council President Tommy Overcash announced Muncey’s resignation on Nov. 17. The resignation includes a two-week notice, scheduling Muncey’s last day in the job on Dec. 1.
City Council will rule officially on Muncey’s resignation at its Nov. 28 meeting.
“Chief Muncey was a key driver in our focus on community policing. Multiple initiatives he and his team implemented continue to be very successful in the safety they provide our citizens” Finley said.
“During his tenure, Chief Muncey was a pivotal leader helping our community through tragic events, such as the Discovery Middle School shooting and the April 2011 tornadoes.”
“Larry brought great value to our police department, as well as being an involved member of our Madison and Tennessee Valley community,” Overcash said. “We would like to thank him for his service and friendship over the years.”
City Council will now work closely with the mayor’s office “to define the path forward to quickly fill the Chief of Police position,” the release from Finley’s office stated. “Major Jim Cooke will continue his current role as acting Chief of Police until the role is filled.”
On April 15, U.S. District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala found Muncey guilty of contempt of court. Muncey’s charges are associated with the civil rights trial for Madison police officer Eric Parker in September 2015.
“Following Judge Haikala’s ruling, Mayor Troy Trulock has placed Chief Larry Muncey on administrative leave pending the conclusion of any appeal … ” then mayor Troy Trulock stated on April 15.
Haikala fined Muncey for $2,500 and ordered him to pursue special training. Muncey appealed the decision. His maximum charges would have been a six-month jail sentence and $5,000 fine.
“The Madison Record” asked Trulock for an update on April 21, and he deferred questions to City Attorney Kelly Butler with the City of Madison Legal Department. “Because this is a pending personnel matter, the City has no additional comment at this time,” Butler said.
Since April, council members claimed that Trulock would not give them any update about Muncey’s status. “The City Council appoints the police chief, but, administratively, he reports day to day to the mayor. The mayor could make a recommendation for termination; the ultimate decision authority would be the City Council,” then council president Tim Holcombe said this summer.
On July 25, council entered executive session for almost four hours to discuss employee complaints and Muncey’s employment status. In a 6-1 vote, council overruled Trulock’s decision that the grievances did not warrant further action. In addition, city council stated that Trulock should respond to them within 30 days about the status of his decision on Muncey’s employment.
After multiple trials, Eric Parker was found not guilty. He has returned to work in Madison Police Department.