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Civil Service Commission: Firefighter termination stands


Dispatch Staff Report



The Columbus Civil Service Commission unanimously voted Monday to affirm a decision by the Columbus Mayor and City Council to terminate firefighter Mitchell Banks. 


According to Civil Service Commission Secretary Loria B. Porter, the commission listened to testimony by Banks, as well as CFD personnel and an official with the Mississippi Fire Academy during Monday''s meeting. 


"After hearing the testimony, the commission voted to affirm the decision made earlier by the mayor and council to terminate Mr. Banks," Porter said. 


In is unknown whether or not Banks will appeal the decision to 16th Circuit Court; calls to his attorney, Rod Ray were not immediately returned this morning. 


Ray also represents Columbus police officers Heath Beard, Wade Beard, Robert Walker and a former Columbus Police Department corporal Spence Wallingford, who were suspended for 15 days without pay after a may 2009 incident at Vicksburg National Military Park. The officers, along with Lowndes County Sheriff''s Deputy Scott Glasgow and his fiancĂ©e, were called back to Columbus after reports from a park ranger they were acting disorderly in the park. 


Wallingford resigned from the police force after another incident, where he was being investigated for using his work vehicle and computer for personal purposes. The Columbus Civil Service Commission in June voted to uphold the officers'' suspensions. An appeal is expected to be heard in Lowndes County Circuit Court next month. 


Glasgow was issued a letter of reprimand. 


Banks was terminated Dec. 7 by the Columbus City Council for allegedly missing hazardous material training sessions in Pearl because he was too drunk to participate. Beginning Dec. 8, he was given 10 days to appeal the decision and retained Ray on Dec. 16. The Civil Service Commission decided to hear the appeal, despite its late submission. 







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