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Discussion, Action On Offices of Public Safety, Utilities Directors; Several Board, Commission Appointments On June City Council Agenda

Sulphur Springs City Council members are scheduled Tuesday night to meet in a special executive session prior to their regular monthly meeting to discuss two city offices, those of the public safety director and the public utilities director.
The city in October 2017 held a similar meeting, opting to create a new position, that of public safety director. This combined jobs of both police and fire chiefs. James “Jay” Sanders, a longtime veteran of the department who was the city’s police chief and a certified firefighter at the time, was appointed as the city’s public safety director.
Sanders was placed on administrative leave on March 22, 2019, when Texas Commission on Law Enforcement began an investigation into an allegation Sanders provided “false information to pay for a couple of people to go to academy,” TCOLE spokeswoman Gretchen Grigsby said.
Sanders was accused of providing false information on documentation to obtain funding for a couple of individuals to go through police academy, according to Grigsby.
TCOLE’s investigation concluded with Sanders’ voluntary surrender of his peace officer license on May 2, Grigsby said.
Sanders remained on administrative leave from the city until Friday, May 3, when he officially handed in his letter of resignation, City Manger Marc Maxwell confirmed on May 5.
When Sanders was placed on administrative leave, Sulphur Springs Police Department Patrol Capt. Jason Ricketson was named acting police chief and Sulphur Springs Fire Department Assistant Chief Tim Vaughn has served as acting fire chief. Ricketson and Vaughn continue to serve as interim chiefs of those departments.
Sulphur Springs City Council is scheduled to meet in executive session Tuesday, June 4, 30 minutes prior to the start of the regular council meeting, to discuss the public safety director position as well as the utilities director position.
The regular June 4 City Council agenda then calls for the council to discuss and consider taking action on both positions discussed during the executive session.

There are at least two additional items on Tuesday’s regular council agenda regarding officials.

The oath of office is to be administered to Freddie Taylor, Jeff Sanderson and Doug Moore, who won the May City Council election. The city council on May 9 met in special session to canvass the May 4 election. The council members at that time are to select a member to serve as mayor and another member as mayor pro tem.

After the special meeting, the council reconvene at 6 p.m. at a special council retreat where they discussed possible appointments to several boards and commissions. At the regular June 4 meeting, the city council is also slated to discuss and consider appointments for the Economic Development Corporation, Zoning Board of Adjustment, Airport Advisory Board, Sulphur River Municipal Water District Board, Library Board, Board of Tourism and Promotion, Construction Board of Adjustment and Appeals, Planning and Zoning Commission, Ark-Tex Council of Governments, the Downtown Revitalization Board and Revolving Loan Fund Committee.

The regular city council meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, at City Hall.

Author: Faith Huffman

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