Update: Jonesboro (AR) Police Chief Mike Yates has resigned “after careful and prayerful consideration.” He tells the mayor: “A man must take responsibility for his mistakes and I am prepared to do just that. I let my anger and pride override my judgment and wisdom by saying a number of things that are unacceptable given my position.”
On Friday, the Jonesboro (AR) police chief was given a 30-day suspension for posting ugly Facebook comments (“smelly,” for example) about the local newspaper’s police reporter. The Jonesboro Sun’s Sunday editorial about the punishment is behind a paywall, but publisher David Mosesso forwarded it for posting.
Jonesboro Sun editorial
The past couple of weeks have been no fun for this newspaper as we’ve seen one of our reporters come under fire from mean spirited and personal Facebook rants by our local police chief.
We’ve had to fight for public information from the police department, information that previously has been relatively easy to receive and report on. We’ve dealt with this and a host of other issues as they relate to the freedom of information. We’ve lodged a complaint with our mayor and he has issued his reprimand, a 30-day unpaid suspension for police chief Mike Yates.
We had hoped and asked that the police chief be fired for his actions, but Mayor Perrin has elected to take the path of least resistance. At first blush, it might seem as though a 30-day suspension was the coward’s way out, but is it really? There may be more risk involved in a 30-day suspension than an actual firing /CONTINUES
Now, if Chief Yates misbehaves once he’s back at the helm, it’s all on Mayor Perrin. That’s a calculated risk and it takes some guts.
Let’s hope that Chief Yates has aged a few years over the past few weeks and has grown into an adult that doesn’t take to Facebook to vent his frustrations.
Let’s hope that he’s learned that you don’t ‘go after’ news reporters who are just doing their job.
Let’s hope that he’s learned that he works for us, we don’t work for him.
Let’s hope that he understands that his actions have damaged the reputation of this city to a point that only time will be able to mend.
Let’s hope that he’s learned that while you may not like the messenger, you don’t attempt to sink or ‘torpedo’ it.
Let’s hope that he understands that he sets the example for his employees and they will follow his lead.
That’s a whole lot of hope.
This hasn’t been easy for Mayor Perrin either because we know that his decision went against the outpouring of support from the citizens of Jonesboro to have Yates fired. We’re told we’ll be receiving a letter of apology from Chief Yates. We anxiously await that apology and will print it for you to judge its sincerity.
Thanks to all of the emails, phone calls, texts, and comments of support for this newspaper and our staff. We’ll continue to shine the light.