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Jonesboro names interim police chief

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

The Jonesboro City Council on Monday voted to install an interim police chief, and purchase 850 trash receptacles, but voted down a revised golf-cart ordinance.

During its regular business meeting, the City Council voted unanimously to name Tim Jessup as the city's interim police chief. The city has been without a police chief since May, when Jonesboro Mayor Luther Maddox suspended and later fired the former police chief, Brad Johnson.

Maddox said the city waited to appoint someone to the position due to ongoing litigation between the city and Johnson, who is also a 2009 candidate for the Jonesboro City Council.

"We were waiting to see how the legal matters went," Maddox said. "We'll have a permanent chief after the election."

Keith Martin, Johnson's attorney, said he is currently fighting Johnson's suspension and firing in Clayton County Superior Court and that the City of Jonesboro is currently appealing Johnson's payment of unemployment benefits with the Georgia Department of Labor.

Since Jan. 1, Jessup has been a major with the Jonesboro Police Department. Prior to becoming a major, he said he served as a detective with the department for nearly four years.

The Jonesboro City Council also on Monday night voted to adopt a 2009 effective millage rate of zero mills for the city. The council also voted to purchase 850 trash receptacles from Robertson Sanitation in preparation for taking over the city's garbage service in January. The total cost will be $29,750.

The council, however, voted 2-4 against the adoption of a new golf-cart ordinance that would extend the southern boundary of golf-cart travel to the Jonesboro Police Station. All but councilmen Wallace Norrington and Billy Powell were opposed to the new ordinance.

The Jonesboro City Council also announced that the Holiday at Home Parade, which traditionally takes place the Saturday before Thanksgiving, would not take place in Jonesboro this year. Maddox said the date of a tree-lighting ceremony would be announced at a later date.