CHAPIN, SC (WIS) - Chapin's police chief says attending a training course for a week without notifying the town's mayor is what led to his three-day suspension without pay.
Chief Troy Crump returned to work Friday after receiving notification of his suspension Jan. 19. On his first day back, Crump issued a statement explaining the reason for the suspension:
"During the week of January 11, 2016, I attended a firearms instructor re-certification course at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. The training was mandatory. The training caused me to be away from my office for the week of January 11, 2016. Prior to attending the training course, I inadvertently failed to communicate my absence from the office to Mayor Skip Wilson. In response, Mayor Wilson suspended me from my duties for three days without pay. I do not believe the suspension without pay was warranted. However, I am happy to serve the citizens of the Town of Chapin, and I look forward to resuming my duties as its Chief of Police."
Three days ago, Crump received notification of his suspension from Finance and Administrative Support Director Carl Stevens. In an email WIS obtained, Crump quickly requested an appeal since he was not served the suspension from his immediate supervisor. In a separate email WIS received, Mayor Skip Wilson denied Crump's request for an appeal, stating the employee handbook does not "supersede state statute" and that state law "prohibits town council from intervening into daily operations of a municipality in a Mayor-Council form of government."
Crump followed that with an email directly to Town Council members requesting a grievance hearing. WIS has not received notification of whether this hearing has been held or if it is scheduled.
Communications Director Karen Owens previously told WIS that Crump stepped down in November as police chief "to focus more attention on community policing efforts" and was serving as acting chief when he was suspended. The police chief position is posted on the Town of Chapin's website, and Owens said the town is engaged in the search process.
Crump's attorney Nick Riley cannot speak on whether Crump stepped down in November to a community policing position.