State rejects Hall’s certification bid

TUPELO – Deputy Police Chief Robert Hall’s certification request has been denied, and the city must now appeal if it wants to pursue the matter.
The state Board on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training sent an email to its members during the weekend informing them of the decision, said board chairman and Amory Police Chief Ronnie Bowen.
Bowen said the email was sent by board director Robert Davis, whose office had made the decision, and that it had verbally notified the Tupelo Police Department.
On Monday, police Chief Tony Carleton said he still hadn’t received the denial letter and therefore had no comment.
Davis was out of the office and unavailable for comment.
Hall’s application had been sent last week Tuesday, nearly six months after Tupelo rehired the deputy chief. He previously had held the position, but resigned in 2007 after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges relating to his release of a hit-and-run suspect a year earlier.
Hall relinquished his state law-enforcement certification at the time and must reapply to get it back. Without it, Hall cannot make arrests.
City Council members have repeatedly urged Carleton to seek Hall’s recertification after the chief initially said it wasn’t necessary; Hall’s job is mainly administrative.
Because the certification was denied, the city must now appeal that decision to the board, which meets again on Sept. 9, Bowen said.
The city will have an opportunity to present evidence, and Hall can testify at the hearing.
“We have given certifications back in the past,” said Bowen, now in his second term on the board. “Each case ought to rest on its own merits.”
If Hall’s request is denied by board, the city can appeal to the Lee County Chancery Court.

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Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

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