Nevada Council members (two, Brett Barker and Ray Schwichtenberg were absent Monday) sat through an appeal hearing Monday, during which former police officer Holly Bowman asked to be reinstated to her position with the Nevada Public Safety Department.
Bowman, who was accompanied by her husband and two attorneys, spoke to the council, saying this was a case of “wrongful termination.”
During a lengthy statement that she read to the council, Bowman said that she had experienced unprofessionalism in the Nevada Public Safety Department, as well as sexual harassment from a member of the department, Ray Reynolds, who is still wearing his badge.
“Character Counts (she said about the department’s motto) and I am the one being terminated?”
Bowman said that she was not offered counseling when she should have been; and also talked about how she was told she was under criminal investigation during a shift she was working, which caused her difficulty in trying to focus on work.
She explained that two criminal charges she had faced were used against her in her termination, but that both charges were cleared by a sitting judge.
Bowman described the Nevada Police Department as having “toxic leadership,” and said that type of climate is the fault of the person in charge, Ric Martinez.
Martinez, several members of the public and City Council members listened to Bowman’s appeal. Afterward, the council reviewed information they were given to read over. No council member asked a question of Bowman or Martinez or spoke. When asked for a decision, Councilman Jim Walker made a motion to affirm the decision of the public safety director in terminating Bowman. Councilman Andy Kelly seconded that motion. All four council members present voted in favor of the motion.
In other business:
• Businessmen Al Kockler and Larry Sloan asked the city to look into providing better detour signage about the Sixth Street closure. Kockler said there needs to be something alerting people coming from the west that they might want to turn on Airport Road to come into Nevada and get to the business district. City officials said they’d review the detour signage set up by the DOT. They also noted that it won’t be long before Sixth Street is open enough that people will only need to go around a few blocks to get to the business district.
• Jim George, of 1007 Sampson Dr., commended the city’s Parks and Recreation department on the beautiful job it does in maintaining the city cemetery, which abuts his property.
• City Administrator Matt Mardesen said the city is working to set up a joint meeting with the Nevada school board to talk about long-range plans for SCORE and Billy Sunday Field.
• Nevada Public Safety Director Ric Martinez said the department’s new police officer is in his second week of training and is progressing well. Martinez also commended his entire staff on their work with the robbery that occurred this past week at Kum & Go in Nevada. “All my staff put in a lot of hours to catch this guy four days after the incident,” he said.
Martinez was asked by Barb Mittman why there were a number of sheriff’s deputies parked on several streets Friday afternoon in the main part of town. Martinez did not comment.
• City Clerk Kerin Wright commented that local businessman Ben Hawcott had volunteered his time to plant flowers at City Hall.