FESTUS, MO (KTVI) - Longtime Festus Police Chief Tim Lewis is under fire after a convincing vote of no confidence against him by his own officers. The union representing the Festus police officers is calling Chief Lewis incompetent but the chief says he has done nothing wrong. Lewis has been with the Festus police department for 32 years and has been the chief for about 15 and a half years.
Bill Stark, a representative with the officer`s union- Laborers Local 42-, says a no confidence vote taken last Thursday by the officers was 19-1 against the chief. Twenty-three officers were eligible to cast ballots. Stark says he will now ask the Festus City Council to fire Lewis. That request could happen at the council meeting in two weeks. Stark says officers question Lewis` ethics and honesty. He also says Lewis has violated department and city policies.
The union alleges that Lewis improperly stored handguns seized by his officers, told officers and detectives to ignore meth lab complaints, and did not investigate a possible internal breach of information involving a D.E.A. investigation. Lewis is calling this all a political move by the union. The chief points out that negotiations for officers` salaries are currently underway.
Lewis says his attorneys have advised him not to speak on camera because of the allegations leveled against him. Festus` Mayor Mike Cage held a closed door meeting with the police department this morning including Chief Lewis to discuss the situation.
Details of that meeting were not immediately made public.