Warner Robins police Chief Brett Evans issued a statement Monday saying the state agency that certifies law enforcement officers in Georgia would not take action against him related to an investigation by the agency.
Certification by the state Peace Officers Standards and Training Council is required to serve as a law enforcement officer in Georgia.
The POST Council met Wednesday and considered a recommendation of the committee that reviewed the findings of the investigation of Evans.
The council “met, and officially confirmed, on what I, and many others already believed,” Evans said in the statement. “No action would be taken against me for several allegations that lacked any credibility.”
A C-11, or change of status, form filed by Warner Robins Mayor Chuck Shaheen resulted in the POST investigation.
The form was filed after Shaheen’s suspension last year of Evans for violating city policy by campaigning for Shaheen’s opponent Chuck Chalk in the 2009 mayoral election.
Shaheen announced a seven-day suspension Aug. 11, but City Council reinstated Evans in a 5-1 vote Aug. 12.
The change of status form, signed by Shaheen and dated Aug. 16, 2010, included the reason for disciplinary action: “Policy violation; also review of GBI report 2009, grand jury concerns, ticket fixing and evidence held without charges.”
The completed investigation was reviewed by a POST probable cause committee, which made the recommendation that was considered by the POST council Wednesday. The recommendations may range from no action, public reprimand, probation, suspension or revocation of certification.
Ken Vance, POST executive director, who previously declined to release the POST decision, said Monday that he could confirm only that the POST letter Evans received regarding the decision did state that the council took no action.
Vance said he is prohibited from discussing the investigation itself prior to it becoming public record 10 days following the POST council decision.
Evans declined an interview with The Telegraph.
In his statement, Evans thanked those who have supported him and offered prayers on his behalf. He noted that the death of Mayor Donald Walker, who Evans said was like a father to him, as well as the death of his wife’s father and his wife’s miscarriage, made 2010 a year of both emotional loss and spiritual growth.
“Professionally, I have been subjected to a battery of investigations designed to damage not just my reputation but my career as a police officer,” Evans said in the statement.
“I have now been cleared of any wrongdoing by two district attorneys, two grand juries, the GBI, a private investigator and POST has determined no action will be taken concerning my certification.”
Evans noted “damage” caused to the city and the police department in a time, he said, of great growth and progress.
“Sadly, the last 15 months have been difficult and have caused a great deal of negative publicity and unwanted attention to our city and police department,” Evans said in the statement.
Evans, who noted he has served the city for 24 years, said he plans to continue to lead the Warner Robins police force to the best of his ability. He has been the chief since 2003.
Evans also thanked fellow Warner Robins police officers for hard work during “this stressful time” and expressed gratitude to POST for “their fair, thorough and objective investigation into the allegations made against me.”
“It is my desire that the city government strive to work together for the future of Warner Robins,” Evans concluded. “I extend an invitation to mayor and council to put this behind us and begin to focus on the issues ahead for the benefit of our citizens.”
Shaheen said in a Monday afternoon news release that the POST Council “has not officially notified me of their decision regarding Chief Evans.
“However, I am supportive of the police department and highly respect all of our officers. I will continue to move the city of Warner Robins forward no matter what the outcome may be.”
Councilman Mike Daley said he was confident of the outcome, and he’s glad for it.
“To have a police chief that can be somewhat distracted from his job, that’s a problem,” Daley said.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report.