“They made some allegations that we felt needed to be investigated further,” Morton said.
Earlier this month, Morton, Fayetteville mayor Greg Clifton and city council members also received anonymous letters accusing Heaton and, to a lesser degree, Gooding of creating a hostile work environment where workers are subject to a lot of stress and harassment. They said there is high turnover among police officers who feel pressured to write tickets. The complaints also noted that one veteran police officer was fired for insubordination, while another officer experienced harsh discipline.
Fayette councilmember Ed Johnson said he was concerned that the letter writers didn’t use the proper chain of command to relay their concerns. He noted there are “stipulations and policies in place to prevent them from being retaliated against.”
Fayetteville officials praised Heaton and Gooding for their service. Morton noted that both men will be working with city managers and departmental personnel to provide an orderly transition within the police department during the next few week.