SHEFFIELD — It will be another two weeks before an appeal hearing for fired Sheffield Police Chief Greg Ray will be heard by the Civil Service Board, officials said.
Sheffield city attorney Vince McAlister said Wednesday the board postponed the hearing that was scheduled for today until Jan. 31.
“That is the tentative date we have been given,” McAlister said.
McAlister and city prosecutor Ben Gardner Jr., who will represent the city in the hearing, said the reason for the delay was the fact that Ray’s attorneys, Tony Hughes and James Irby, filed a number of documents with the Civil Service Board on Monday, asking for more than a dozen subpoenas to be issued for the hearing.
Gardner said there was no way to process the subpoenas within that time frame.
“You can’t just get them out on a moment’s notice,” McAlister said. “You have to give the people being subpoenaed a little notice.”
Hughes said he and Irby were fully prepared to go forward with the hearing.
“I don’t think the fact we filed the subpoenas to compel certain people to be at the hearing should have delayed anything,” Hughes said.
He and Irby filed an objection to the continuance Wednesday afternoon.
“We were prepared to proceed and by continuing (the hearing) it violates (Ray’s) due process,” Hughes said.
He said he is hoping the Civil Service Board will having a timely hearing on the motions that have been filed.
“We’re looking forward to hearing from (the Civil Service Board) and their attorney so we can sit down for a hearing,” Hughes said.
Ray, 54, was terminated Oct. 26 after being given a choice of resigning or facing termination, according to Sheffield Mayor Ian Sanford. Among the performance issues cited was Ray’s failure to address concerns brought up by the mayor and council members.
Ray is on leave with pay, pending the appeal.
Hughes said Ray still has confidence in the board and that they will make the right decision and put him back to work.
Ray has worked in the department since 1992 and served as chief since 2007.
Sanford appointed Sheffield Fire Chief Dewey King as interim police chief.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.