Two Brooklet police officers, one of whom was already on probation, were suspended Tuesday night during a special called meeting of the Brooklet City Council.
Officers Charles Dutton and Melissa “Lee” Rogers were ‘suspended without pay” after councilmen met in an executive session, according to a statement released afterward.
Dutton was already on probation stemming from an incident in February when he approached teenagers about juveniles in a car without proper restraint.
Dutton was off duty when this took place, and an altercation with an adult at the scene led to further controversial behavior when Dutton’s on-duty supervisor, now former Sgt. John Baker, confronted the woman during a traffic stop. The woman captured the encounter on video, which went viral on social media, and the ordeal led to termination of Baker and former police chief Doug Meyer. Dutton was suspended and placed on probation.
The council’s statement regarding Rogers’ and Dutton’s suspensions said the actions were due to “various violations of the City’s Personnel Policy and Police Standard Operating Procedure.”
Both officers may appeal during a hearing before the mayor and council if they so wish, and “the suspensions are indefinite pending the results of an external investigation,” according to the statement.
Wednesday, the Statesboro Herald submitted record requests in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. While the law states an entity has up to three business days in which to reply, Brooklet City Clerk Angela Wirth usually complies with such requests immediately. However, Wirth was not in the office Wednesday afternoon.
Further information regarding Dutton’s and Rogers’ alleged violations will be published when it is received.
Following these suspensions, the Brooklet Police Department currently has two officers – interim chief Lee Craft and Officer Nash Rigdon, said police clerk Mary Renteria. Usually the department has four or more officers.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.