Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tony Logan Takes Tuscumbia

Part III in our series on Tony Logan

In June 2008, the city of Tuscumbia decided a new police chief was in order. For many months, Terry Sherron had been acting chief, but observers noted that department morale was low, with many officers openly criticizing the acting chief.

Besides Sherron, four others also vied for the position: Scott Wallace, Lee Smith, Ronald Dollar, and Tony Logan. By July, the Tuscumbia City Council unanimously voted to hire former Florence Deputy Chief Tony Logan, offering him the salary of $38,000.00 a year. Logan accepted the job, but not without even more controversy. Logan, who holds a Masters Degree from the University of North Alabama, was also working on a PhD from an online university. Would Logan be willing to work with Tuscumbia on a long term basis for such a meager salary?

Once in office, Logan began to receive wide praise for his work with the department, but not without further notoriety. While revamping the small police force, Logan chose to terminate some employees whom he perceived as either under performing or otherwise unneeded. Darlene Webb was one such employee. Upon being terminated, Webb immediately left Logan's office and attempted to return with a gun. Making it as far as an outer office, Webb fired into the ceiling, ran from the building, and was later apprehended in nearby Spring Park. Logan announced at the time that he was unaware of the gun play so near his office and wished his former employee well.

By November 2008, Tony Logan's name was again involved in controversy. During the initial interviews for the Tuscumbia Police Chief position, City Clerk Carol Burns handled the phone surveys, a process Mayor Billy Shoemaker claimed Burns used to rig the initial selection of candidates. Besides her duties as town clerk, Carol Burns had long been affiliated with the Tuscumbia Police Department.

By December, Burns had decided to retire from her position, while still vehemently denying that she had falsified any references or other information in Tony Logan's initial telephone interview. With the removal of this lone remaining impediment to his reputation and authority, Logan was now ready for smooth sailing as Tuscumbia's Police Chief. Apparently the smooth sailing has lasted only a year.

Note: For our exclusive interview with Carol Burns and her views on her job with the city of Tuscumiba, please visit this link.