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Longtime Nitro police chief fired

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- On his second day in office, Nitro's new mayor fired the city's police chief, who thinks money had something to do with it.

Nitro Police Chief Jack Jordan said Mayor Dave Casebolt called Jordan into his office Monday morning and gave him a letter of termination. Jordan had been Nitro police chief since December 2000, all under former mayor Rusty Casto, whom Casebolt defeated in city elections last month.

Jordan said Casebolt did not provide him with a reason for his termination, but recalled a conversation the two men had more than a month ago.

"He came into my office when he was running and said that somebody offered him $6,000 for his campaign if he would fire me," Jordan said.

Jordan said he asked who that person was, but said Casebolt would not tell him.

Casebolt said those allegations are "absolutely not true."

He said that more than a year ago, someone offered him money if Jordan were fired. He didn't take that person's offer, he said.

"They were just people who wanted to see Jack gone," the mayor said. "I've never accepted a penny."

Casebolt would not say why he fired Jordan, calling it an administrative decision.

Jordan's wife, former Nitro parks director Debbie Jordan, filed a lawsuit last month against Casebolt, City Treasurer John Young, City Councilman Bill Javins and former councilman Jim McKay. She alleged that she resigned as parks director in January because of harassment on the job, and said Casebolt and McKay repeatedly accused her of stealing from the city.

Earlier this year, Nitro officials investigated a special police fund after state auditors couldn't find records to show how about $58,000 had been spent. Last month, City Attorney Richie Robb said some of the payments, including payments to Debbie Jordan and her son, were questionable, but not illegal.

Casebolt said Monday that Nitro police Capt. Brian Oxley is acting as chief until the position can be filled. He plans to conduct interviews next week for the job.

Jordan said the termination has him in limbo.

"I'm just kind of shocked," he said. "I think, 'Wow did this really happen?'"

He said he would miss helping Nitro residents, especially children. His office has been busy dealing with fallout from Friday's devastating thunderstorm, he said.

Before serving as chief, Jordan was a Nitro police officer from 1980 to 2000, and was a member of the Kanawha County Metro Drug Unit from 1986 to 2000.

Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.


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