JJ does not report on county elections down on the Gulf Coast but there is one little situation that is rather interesting and it involves the smallest of all elections: a constable's race. It seems a Ronald Weeks is running for Constable in Harrison County. However, he was terminated by the Biloxi Civil Service Commission and decided to sue the city of Biloxi in Harrison County Circuit Court. It seems his superiors and a shrink determined that Mr. Weeks gets too attached to female subjects and victims as shown below. Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway fired him after a psychiatrist determined he was mentally unfit for duty.
Mr. Weeks served as a police officer for the city from 1991 to 2007. The ordeal began when a female friend tried to commit suicide. He got permission to go check on her while on duty. Said friend was married and was um, the subject of "an ongoing investigation into her alleged stabbing of her husband." The commission said they were just friends. Weeks stayed at the hospital for quite some time and ignored several calls. He was apparently upset and discussing the possibility of having her committed with her doctors. Weeks was at the hospital for over two hours when a Lieutenant arrived and ordered him to report back to the station immediately. The report states Weeks went through several mood swings while at the station. He was crying at times and wanting to tell off his superiors in others. He apparently blamed the police for pushing her to suicide. He took the rest of the day off after being asked to do so. He was told not to return to work unless he had a note from his doctor that stated he was able to work.
However, it appears Mr. Weeks had been noted for similar episodes in the past (P.5 of the first set of documents posted below). He gave an intoxilyzer to a woman he was talking to at a bar while off-duty. He was chewed out for doing so (actually verbally counseled but everyone knows what that means.).
The department issued a "no-contact order" to Weeks after he was accused of calling and harassing a woman he met "while on the job, about dating her after she" said no. The department suspended him for five days when he told a woman "do I need to put you over my knee and spank you" during a traffic stop. He received yet another "no contact order" and was demoted from Sergeant after he denied bond to a woman he arrested and then drove by her home the next day and ask her "feelings towards him." The department issued him a third "no-contact order" after he pursued another woman after he responded to a call of her wallet being stolen.
A shrink even stated that Weeks had moved from a "low risk" for employment problems to a "moderate risk" and could move to "high risk" if no action was taken. Mayor Holloway ordered him to take a fitness for duty exam." Dr. Julie Teater reported he was not fit for duty as she stated:
The recent incident in April suggests that he has not changed his behavior toward women that was noted in previous complaints. His actions in June also raise concerns that he violated a hospital patient's privacy regarding the status of her health. Both of the incidents suggest the abuse of his position of power as a police officer... Mr. Weeks does appear to have a continuing problem with his judgment. It is reasonable that this problem will continue to lead to his inability to perform his essential job functions. Based on his long history of poor judgment (particularly involving women), it is felt that Mr. Weeks is NOT FIT FOR Duty. Due to the lengthy history of repeated poor judgment, it is felt that further efforts to correct his problem are likely to be ineffective.Mr. Weeks protested and offered a statement by his internist (MD) that he had been under his care for medical problems. The Mayor ordered him to take a second fitness exam. A second shrink determined he was unfit for duty as he "suffered from Dysthymia and Dependent Personality Traits." (P.9 in Findings of Fact below). This quote by Dr. Webb said it all:
The most glaring example is in April of 2007, in which he responded to a call of a distressed school teacher and within a week, he was having a sexual relationship with her .... With Mr. Weeks' Dysthymia and Dependent Personality Traits, he is not Fit For Duty.
Mayor Holloway fired him on October 19, 2007. Weeks appealed his termination. Why are we discussing this in 2015? The appeal dragged on for several reasons. Week's expert witness died. Weeks requested four continuances for scheduled hearings. The appeal hearing was finally held in 2009 BUT the two sides agreed to delay proceeding as Weeks was trying to obtain, drum roll, medical disability retirement benefits through PERS. Weeks notified the Commission in August 2012 that his request had been denied. The hearing was finally held on March 27, 2013. The two sides again recessed until June 26, 2013. The Commission upheld the termination on September 12, 2013.
Weeks filed a notice of appeal in Harrison County Circuit Court against the City of Biloxi on October 2, 2013. The two sides have taken turns filing briefs, motions, and various responses. Weeks filed a notice of hearing in April that requested June 30 for a hearing date. Judge Lawrence P. Bourgeois set the hearing for July 30, 2015.
Weeks argues in his reply that the the city was unreasonable in firing him. He said his friend who attempted suicide asked for him. He also claimed medical staff asked him to get her to take a charcoal solution as she would only listen to him. Thus he was performing his duties as a police officer. He claimed all favorable reviews were removed from the personnel file while infractions were included even if they were over ten years old. He even argued:
On April 20, 2007, a co-worker of Weeks’ ex-girlfriend alleged concerns about Weeks and his ex-girlfriend’s relationship to a Biloxi Police Officer, who then reiterated that story to Brumley. Brumley wasted no time in commencing an “investigation,” as he described it, which consisted of a brief meeting with Ms. Parker that he initiated on the evening of April 20, 2007. Brumley testified that Ms. Parker asked Weeks to stop calling her and that Weeks stopped. Ms. Parker made no formal written complaint. In fact, Ms. Parker did not initiate any contact with Brumley regarding her relationship with Weeks. This unlawful order regarding Weeks’ outside-of-work consensual relationship was the only negative incident in Weeks’ personnel file for the ten years prior to Weeks’ termination. Contrary to the City’s concentration on this event, it should not have been included in Weeks’ file as it was unlawful and unrelated to Weeks’ employment. Therefore, it was unreasonable for the Commission to consider this entry when reviewing Weeks’ file.
The City also mentions an examination conducted by Dr. Yarnell in 1998 and included in Weeks’ file. At the time, Weeks had recently been engaged to a woman who ran up significant credit card debt in Weeks’ name forcing him into bankruptcy. He had also been recently demoted. Dr. Yarnell moved Weeks from a 1991 Low Risk rating to a Moderate Risk rating. . Again, this is because Weeks was understandably depressed due to the events in his life at that time.
Weeks then argues his superiors had no right to order a fitness exam:
He also claims that a letter from his doctor that supported his fitness was missing from the personnel file. Weeks states that his doctor had been treating him for depression since 1997.
Weeks’ personnel file containing positive remarks consistently for ten years, other than Brumley’s unlawful order, does not constitute substantial evidence to support an inquiry into his mental fitness.
Kingfish note: Why exactly was this guy pursuing the lawsuit while running for constable? Most of this record would probably have stayed private but for the lawsuit and most of the derogatory events happened a long time ago as well. However, it might be worth it to keep in mind that if he becomes a constable, he will be operating under no supervision.