By Chris Schmaedeke, QCS managing editor
City Manager Bobbye Rose said the termination of Police Chief Roger Hatcher is a personnel matter and she is not able discuss it.
“Since he (Hatcher) has hired an attorney we are looking at possible litigation,” Rose said.
Hatcher said Friday he received a letter from Rose on Jan. 25 saying her was terminated. Hatcher had been on paid administrative since Jan. 15, his second as police chief.
Rose said she could not release the letter.
Hatcher would only discuss one of the reasons for termination cited in the letter, saying he felt all weak.
“They said I never established a permanent residence in Tucumcari,” Hatcher said, “even though I lived at 2101 S. 1st Street for 18 months.”
Hatcher said he has hired attorney John D’Amato of Albuquerque to fight the decision. D’Amato said he is still gathering information on the case and plans to meet with Hatcher this week.
“I take exception to the city’s actions on someone who has had such an affect in the community of Tucumcari,” D’Amato said.
Hatcher said the community has also been good to him and he has made a lot of friends. He said he believes city leaders do not support the police department.
“The city does not want someone in there to do what’s right,” Hatcher said. “They want someone that will do what they want.”
Hatcher was also placed on paid administrative leave July 6, after shooting 14-year-old Kailee Martinez with a Taser. After being cleared by internal investigation, he was returned to duty July 29.
Tucumcari Fire Chief Mike Cherry is serving as Interim Administrator and Jason Braziel, an officer formerly assigned to schools, is serving as Interim Operations Commander until a chief of police is hired, according to the release.