SHEFFIELD — Florence attorney Tony Hughes said his client, fired Sheffield Police Chief Greg Ray, is ready to have his appeal heard by the Civil Service Board.
“We are ready to get in front of the board and put on our case,” said Hughes, who along with James Irby, is representing Ray.
The Civil Service Board is scheduled to hear Ray’s case at 9 a.m. Thursday in the second-floor City Hall courtroom.
Hughes said the hearing is open to the public.
Ray, 54, was terminated Oct. 26 after being given a choice of resigning or facing termination because of performance issues, according to Sheffield Mayor Ian Sanford. Among the performance issues cited was Ray’s failure to address concerns brought up by the mayor and council members.
Ray, who is on leave with pay, appealed the termination to the Civil Service Board.
Sheffield city attorney Vince McAllister and city prosecutor Ben Gardner Jr. will represent the city in the hearing.
Hughes filed a motion asking Gardner to remove himself from the case, citing a conflict of interest. Hughes said the motion was filed based on the fact that Ray feels he and Gardner have an attorney-client relationship because of Ray’s time with the Police Department.
Gardner said his relationship with Ray was in an advisory capacity and said he has no intention of stepping aside.
Hughes said after the hearing, the Civil Service Board has the authority to uphold the mayor’s decision, modify that decision or find Ray not guilty of the allegations.
“I have confidence in the board that they will be fair,” Hughes said. “I know Greg and his family are ready to get this over with.”
Ray has worked in the department since 1992 and served as chief since 2007. Sheffield Fire Chief Dewey King is serving as interim police chief.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.