MARLIN, TX — High drama in Marlin as marathon emergency city council meetings, brought a struggle over the future of the town's new police chief. After many meetings, the council decided to table the issue and allow the chief to keep his job for now.
Before this decision, meetings were leaving leaders, the chief and citizens in limbo. Marlin city leaders met in emergency called back-to-back executive sessions on Monday night to address issues with the police chief and possibly name his replacement.
A handful of supporters gathered in protest outside Marlin City Hall Monday night as the town's elected leaders considered the fate of their police chief.
Among them, Kyle Simmons who worried a complaint he'd filed against a city employee went nowhere while drama with Chief Lawrence McCall went to the front of the line.
"If I filed a complaint, versus somebody at city hall filing a complaint or throwing a temper tantrum, and getting city council to act this fast? What about my complaint?" he asked.
It started last Tuesday when, in a regular meeting, Mayor Carolyn Lofton asked Chief McCall why he hadn't submitted regular reports to city leaders.
"There's no report. I need to see your monthly report. Did you do a monthly report?" the mayor asked in the open meeting.
McCall, the next day, downplayed the exchange.
"Yeah, I'm here for the long haul...," he said. But he wasn't.
McCall submitted his letter of resignation on Tuesday to city council members.
By Saturday, McCall said he'd officially resigned, but then had second thoughts and rescinded his resignation. But it was too late.
Marlin Mayor Carolyn Lofton had apparently had enough, and called a 6 p.m. meeting, to consider the chief's future. And then on Monday, there was a 7 p.m. meeting to name his successor.
Why McCall's the flip-flop?
McCall says it hit him as he explained the situation to his family in Dallas.
"And then I started receiving overwhelming support from the community; and once you've received overwhelming support, it's hard to just walk away," he said.
City leaders met in a locked-down city hall, but streamed the meeting online.
More than two hours passed without a decision, a development which some suggested, meant the mayor didn't have the votes to fire the chief.
No matter what the reason, the delay came as good news to Simmons who wanted the chief to stay.
"He's better than the last 4," said Simmons.
Chief McCall said before the meeting he’d be OK no matter how everything turned out.