January 27, 2022
By: C&K Trowbridge
The Franklin County Graphic (FCG) sat down with former Connell Police Chief Chris Turner and his wife, Misty, this past weekend. The Turners spoke about Chris’ career and shared how they had no indication of the impending outcome that would find him earlier this month.
On Jan. 4, 2022, the mayor requested Turner come to the city administrator’s office where he received a letter that read “terminated without cause.” Turner let us review his renewed employment agreement from 2019, along with the termination letter. The letter was no more or no less than what the mayor and city administrator shared with the FCG, which was passed on to readers in last week’s edition. Turner will receive a severance package from the city, per his employment agreement.
Turner doesn’t know the reason for his termination any more than the rest of the community. He suspects some things but couldn’t elaborate. He went on to express, “I uncovered something big. I stood up for my officers, and I can sleep well at night.” He shared the results of a public records request that showcased a significant issue regarding underpaid holiday pay. He discovered the issue concerning his police officers was in conflict with the union contract and the city. The Teamsters Union is now looking into it.
The former chief stated that he had never received any performance evaluations with the city as the police chief. He also shared that he never received any letters of reprimand or disciplinary actions in his entire career until the termination letter from the city. Turner served 27 years in the law enforcement profession beginning in 1994 as a reserve police officer for the City of Connell. The Connell Police Department hired him in 2001 as a full time officer. He transferred to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in 2007 and then came back to the City of Connell in 2014 to serve as Connell Police Chief. He has received several Letters of Recognition when he was a police officer for the City of Connell and when he was a deputy with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. Additionally, he received a Letter of Recognition from the former city administrator Jed Crowther. During his service as the police chief, he had hours of professional training in the areas of leadership, supervisor, management, and executive.
Turner isn’t certain what his future will look like. His wife shared that law enforcement has been their entire life. Inspired by his career, Turner’s daughter went on to have a career in law enforcement. She serves in the Bellingham Police Department. Misty served as a reserve officer with the Connell Police Department, but she resigned from that role after the termination of her husband. Both Turner and Misty had a sense of pride when speaking of his long-time public service. Turner did mention he is contemplating running for Franklin County Sheriff. He has even considered a return to farming. Meanwhile, he is taking this opportunity to catch up on projects around his home and in his shop.