The town of Ferrelview, Missouri, recently witnessed tension between its governing board and police chief Daniel Clayton. A rape allegation threw the small Missouri town's governing board in a quandary after the chairwoman's son was accused of rape.
The Kansas City Star reported that the chairwoman, Theresa Wilson, was trying to oust the police chief but that her efforts were met with resistance from internal board members who saw a conflict of interest given her status as the mother of the accused. Wilson has denied being motivated by allegations against her son. Instead, she has provided other reasons, such as financial issues, to oust Clayton. Clayton, who also faces complaints from at least 20 other town members, has denied abuse of power allegations, claiming that he's simply doing his job. "When you have to do what you're supposed to do, nobody like it," Clayton told NBC's 41 Action News.
In addition, Wilson did not claim that her son, who was accused of raping a 14-year-old in a case filed in October 2015, is innocent. The mother said that while she did hope that her son was innocent, he should "face the music" in the case that he was found guilty. The report mentioned that the 14-year-old's father, who remained anonymous, supported Clayton and found the board's behavior toward the police chief "really alarming."
Wilson expressed sympathy with the father who had also been present in the board meeting. The Kansas City Star reported that Wilson told the father, "I’m very sorry for what happened to your daughter. I don’t know what happened. I cannot say my son did it. And I can’t say he didn’t do it."
But it wasn't just the victim's father who found Wilson's dispute with Clayton disagreeable; internal board members have shown reluctance as well.
The report named Phil Gilliam among others who opposed the ousting of Clayton. Gilliam along with a few others are unwilling to follow through with a plan of termination for the police chief. According to Gilliam, Wilson's presence on the board as its chairwoman leading the plan the remove Clayton "smacks of conflict of interest."
Wilson's reasoning for wanting Clayton out of his position pointed toward an apparent uptick in his enforcement of traffic violations. But those opposing Wilson and Rhodes noted that while Clayton's imposition of traffic regulations have been stringent, they had been fair and helped in minimizing the crime rate in the small town of Ferrelview.