Carbondale Police Chief Dismissed

Tools

By WSIL Manager

Updated: Monday, August 18, 7:00 p.m.

CARBONDALE -- Carbondale Police Chief Jody O'Guinn has been fired. City manager Kevin Baity made the announcement Monday morning. The move comes five years after O'Guinn became the town's top cop. 

After several controversial incidents in recent years, perceptions of the Carbondale Police Department soured for some people in the community.

In 2011, O'Guinn's gun was stolen and then used in the murder of 20-year-old Deaunta Spencer. In 2012, there was the death of Molly Young at a police dispatcher's apartment. In February, SIU student Pravin Varughese was found dead in the woods six days after he disappeared. Varughese's family is now suing the police department and the chief.

"Pretty well across the board there's been a negative climate," said Carbondale Human Relations Commission Chair Jerrold Hennrich. 

Hennrich recently filed his own complaint against the police department for an officer blocking his truck in an alley behind his home.

"Said okay if you have an issue with me being here, than I'm just going to sit here for as long as I possibly can," said Hennrich. 

The Carbondale Humans Relations Commission has also discussed ways to improve cooperation between the community and police.

"I think there's been a terrible lack of communication between the citizens and the police department," said Hennrich. 

O'Guinn was hired as police chief in June 2009. Since then, the city has defended the police department.

City Manager Kevin Baity released this statement Monday morning:

"Effective Monday, August 18 at 9:00 a.m., I am dismissing Jody O'Guinn as Chief of Police for the City of Carbondale. Chief O'Guinn has served the City since June 2009. As of now, no timeline has been established for finding his successor."

"I am naming Deputy Chief Jeff Grubbs to serve as Interim Police Chief. I have full faith and confidence in Deputy Chief Grubbs' ability to lead the Carbondale Police Department," Baity states. "I want to stress that my decision to dismiss Chief O'Guinn is a confidential matter and has nothing to do with the unsolved cases or recent litigation filed against the City and the Chief. Any assumptions/allegations to this effect are completely unfounded."

Carbondale Mayor Don Monty also declined to comment. He calls it a personnel matter and says an issue came up in the past couple weeks.

News 3 left a message for O'Guinn, but that phone call was not returned Monday.      

 

Original Story

CARBONDALE -- The city of Carbondale has dismissed police chief Jody O'Guinn.

Carbondale City Manager Kevin Baity says O'Guinn is no longer with the department. He says the decision was a "confidential matter" and not related to pending litigation against the city.

Deputy Chief Jeff Grubbs has been named interim police chief.

O'Guinn has been with the Carbondale Police Department since June 2009.

Baity says the city will put together a job posting in the coming weeks.

Local for more on this story tonight on News 3.

 

FULL STATEMENT FROM CITY MANAGER KEVIN BAITY:

“Effective Monday, August 18 at 9:00 a.m., I am dismissing Jody O'Guinn as Chief of Police for the City of Carbondale. Chief O'Guinn has served the City since June 2009. As of now, no timeline has been established for finding his successor.”

"I am naming Deputy Chief Jeff Grubbs to serve as Interim Police Chief. I have full faith and confidence in Deputy Chief Grubbs' ability to lead the Carbondale Police Department,” Baity states. “I want to stress that my decision to dismiss Chief O'Guinn is a confidential matter and has nothing to do with the unsolved cases or recent litigation filed against the City and the Chief. Any assumptions/allegations to this effect are completely unfounded."

 

Marion Regional
Current: 61°
Cloudy
High: 61°
Low: 37°
Wind: 6 MPH
Pressure: 0.00
Humidity: 55 %