Daleville City Council hears appeal request of terminated officer

The Daleville City Council heard the appeal of former Daleville Police Sgt. Tyrian Quartez Richey on Tuesday, Nov. 19 in their regular meeting. The appeal lasted nearly three hours hearing testimony from Richey; former Daleville reserve officer Darwin Mason, a witness on behalf of Richey; and Daleville Police Chief Allen Medley.

Daleville City Attorney Henry Steagall spoke on behalf of the city.  

Richey was suspended and later terminated after an incident at a Dothan hotel on Oct. 19.

According to Dothan police, “Daleville police sergeant Tyrian Quartez Richey, 24, was arrested Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Clarion Inn and Suites in Dothan, following a physical altercation with Dothan police officers. Dothan officers booked Richey into the Dothan City Jail. He was charged with Disorderly Conduct, Harassment of a Public Official, and Obstructing Government Operations.

His arrest came after an incident during which Richey became verbally combative with Dothan officers who had responded to a suspicious person call at the hotel, per an arrest report.

Dothan police Lt. Ray Mock said patrol officers noticed a suspicious vehicle outside a hotel Saturday and saw people laying down inside of it. He says officers were speaking with the occupants when Richey came down from a hotel room and started an ‘altercation.’”

Richey posted a signature bond and was released.

Steagall said, “This is an appeal from a hearing before the review board, they had a hearing before the review board and the board made a decision Nov. 13 that said ‘Upon receipt of an appeal from you, Mr. Richey, regarding your due process hearing which upheld your termination from Daleville Department of Public Safety, I am advising you of the procedures the city is to follow according to the City of Daleville personnel policies and procedures. The termination was upheld by the review board after the hearing and our personnel policies state that you have the right to appeal this matter to the city council. The city council will review the decision and the evidence that was presented to the review board and make a determination as to whether that action should be amended, affirmed or overturned.’ So that is just what (the council is) going to do—review what the review board did.”

Richey chose to have an open appeal, therefore the public could attend.

Richey retained Birmingham Attorney Henry Penick to assist with his appeal.

“This is not a typical due process hearing where we present the witnesses, we present the evidence and you cross examine—this is an appellate review,” Steagall said.

Penick presented the case with testimony from Richey and Mason and cross examination questioning by council members and Steagall.

Penick claims Richey did not get the charges until the day of the meeting of the review council and he was not able to prepare a defense.

 “This is an appeal of a termination hearing that he had before a review council. We claim that during that review process that Mr. Richey was not afforded all his due process rights in that hearing,” Penick said. “He had not had time to receive and to prepare a defense for the charges that were being leveled against him.

“In this particular case we claim that Mr. Richey is not guilty of these particular charges … he was not guilty of conduct that was unbecoming of an officer, he was not guilty of disorderly conduct, he was not guilty of obstructing government operations,” Penick said.

Penick claims that Richey was being “agreeable and mannerable in terms of complying with the requests of the officers.”

After the testimony and cross examination of Richey and Mason, the city called Medley to testify and he was questioned by Penick, Steagall and city council members.

After all testimony was heard the group moved to the board room to view bodycam footage of the event.

The council then met in executive session and decided Steagall will draft a letter for the council to review, approve and sign, then notice of the decision will be forwarded to Penick and Richey. No update was available as of press time.

Richey is awaiting trial on the charges pending in Dothan.  

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