Public hearing set in Smithsburg for fired police chief

November 08, 1997|By Michael James | Michael James,SUN STAFF

Recently fired Smithsburg police Chief Thomas Bowers will be allowed a public hearing to hear the reasons for his dismissal, which prompted a federal lawsuit and public outcry among the small Western Maryland town's citizens.

Attorneys representing the town government of Smithsburg in Washington County agreed to the hearing in a conference call yesterday with Baltimore U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg. The hearing is tentatively planned for Nov. 25. Meanwhile, Bowers' firing stands and he will not be paid.

Bowers sued seeking a due process hearing and reinstatement to his post in the town of 1,600. Town officials said Bowers, 47, was fired for problems including not investigating complaints against the police.

But Bowers said his due process rights were violated in the abrupt firing because he was not allowed to defend himself at a formal hearing. Town officials have agreed to give Bowers that chance.

Pub Date: 11/08/97

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