Evansdale City Council fires police chief

Evansdale City Council fires police chief

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EVANSDALE | Evansdale’s City Council fired the town’s police chief following a lengthy closed-door meeting Tuesday night.

Council members voted 4-1 to ax Police Chief Kent Smock, who has led the department since 2012.

Councilman Ron Nichols introduced the motion.

“As much as I hate to do it, and I don’t like being the one to do it -- Kent refused our offer -- so I move we move for termination,” Nichols said.

Smock, 56, an Evansdale resident who has been on extended leave from his police post for the past month and a half, declined to comment as he left City Hall.

Mayor Doug Faas declined to comment on the reason behind the firing.

The move came about a month after Smock stepped down from his assignment as Evansdale’s fire chief.

Tuesday’s special City Council meeting was dominated by the one-hour-and-five-minute executive session to discuss personnel matters. Faas said the meeting was closed at Smock’s request.

After the council and City Attorney Craig Ament met for 45 minutes in the mayor’s office, Smock was summoned. Smock left the meeting five minutes later, and the council continued its closed session for 15 minutes before reopening the meeting.

Faas declined to disclose the offer extended to Smock. He said the termination was effective immediately.

Sgt. Jeff Jensen, who has been acting police chief during Smock’s leave, will continue in that role, Faas said. He said the council will likely appoint an interim chief during its next meeting.

Smock has been a long-time fixture in local law enforcement. He retired as a lieutenant from the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office in 2009. In 2012, he was named Evansdale’s police chief, adding the job to the responsibilities he already held as the city’s fire chief.

Under the arrangement, Smock pulled in a $30,000 salary as police chief plus $10,000 as fire chief.

Faas said the $30,000 police salary, which had been hammered out under a previous administration, was artificially low so it wouldn’t interfere with Smock’s retirement income from his years as a deputy. He said the next police chief’s salary will be higher.

The dual police and fire chief position has already been split up. Ryan Phillips was named the city’s fire chief during a prior meeting.

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