McClenny wants gun, ID card

Published 9:12 am Wednesday, November 25, 2009

FRANKLIN—Two weeks ago, former Franklin police Sgt. Ronald McClenny sparked a controversy when he stood before City Council and tendered his resignation because of alleged mistreatment at the hands of Police Chief Phil Hardison.

During Monday night’s council meeting, McClenny once again addressed the City Council during the public comment portion of the meeting, this time to read aloud a letter he wrote to City Manager June Fleming regarding the purchase of his service weapon, his retired identification card and his concealed weapons permit.

As McClenny read the letter, he made allegations against Hardison, when Vice Mayor Raystine Johnson stopped him.

“We do have a policy in place that prevents you from talking about staff,” she said. She asked for the “consensus of council” on whether or not to let McClenny continue and read the policy she referred to aloud.

“I do agree that we have talked about calling names of staff and individuals,” said Councilwoman Mary Hilliard. “The attempt tonight to call names is my concern.”

However, Mayor Jim Councill asked McClenny if he could continue with his remarks and confine them within the limits of the city’s policy restricting personal attacks on an officer of city employee.

McClenny agreed to follow the policy and continued with his remarks. He said that a policy adopted by the City Council in 1990 says than an officer with at least 20 years of service may be allowed to purchase their service weapon for $1.

However, McClenny said he hasn’t been able to purchase his, despite the fact that he paid the $1 fee.

“(The policy) clearly states ‘may give the weapon,’ but a reasonable person would assume that would apply to someone that would use his weapon for wrongdoing,” he said. “I’ve made several attempts to make contact to get this resolved, but no one has answered my questions and no one has returned my calls. All I’m asking Mrs. Fleming to do is ask the administration at the police department to follow through.”

McClenny said Tuesday that he isn’t confident that he will get his service weapon, identification card or concealed weapons permit, but he doesn’t plan on addressing City Council again.

“I’m not saying anything else before City Council,” he said. “I don’t have anything else to say to them. I don’t have anything else to say to Mrs. Fleming.”

Fleming said that she is in the process of looking into state codes to see what her legal authority is regarding the matter.

“I have started looking into the extent of my authority, and when I’ve completed that, I’ll get a response out to him,” she said Tuesday. She said she hopes to have it mailed out before the Thanksgiving holiday.

Hardison was unavailable for comment Tuesday.

McClenny also took issue with some in the community who said that he “couldn’t hack it in the police department.”

“I’ve been hacking it for 30 years,” he said, showing a positive performance evaluation from the police department that was completed this past February, in which he was marked excellent in a number of categories.