Three Forks police employees fired; mayor and chief still mum over why

FORKS — Three city Police Department employees who had been on unpaid administrative leave since Jan. 28 have been terminated effective today.

It’s a move two of the former employees term retaliatory.

The three — police Sgt. JoElle Munger, Sgt. Tom Scott and Communications Officer Deanna Dematteis — were placed on leave for undisclosed reasons. Personnel hearings for the employees were held Feb. 13 and Feb. 19.

Letters of termination were mailed to the three on Tuesday, Mayor Nedra Reed said Thursday.

“They were terminated for cause,” she said.

Reed would not specify the reasons they were fired. The Peninsula Daily News does not have copies of the letters of termination.

“The employees still have their appeal rights,” Reed said.

“I would afford them the respect to not air this, pending their right to appeal.”

Police Chief Mike Powell said because the former employees may appeal, the terminations are a personnel issue that he could not comment on.

“The three individuals were terminated for cause, as determined by the mayor,” he said.

“As such, they still have appeal processes and other avenues that they may decide to take, and until all of those avenues are exhausted, it’s still a personnel issue as far as I’m concerned.”

The three said Thursday that they had contacted their Teamsters union representative, Dan Taylor, about appealing the firings, and had consulted attorneys.

Taylor was unavailable for comment.

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