MAUMELLE, Ark. — Members of the Maumelle Fraternal Order of Police have officially submitted a notice regarding a majority Vote of No Confidence against Maumelle City Attorney Melissa Krebs.
In a letter addressed to Mayor Caleb Norris, Mr. Larry Jegley, council members, and citizens of Maumelle, the FOP states:
"We hesitate in writing this letter as we understand that a positive working relationship between police officers and the city attorney is important. However, the actions of City Attorney Melissa Krebs over the last several months have caused members of the police department to lose trust and confidence in her abilities to serve the city, its citizens, and its police officers."
The letter mentions various reasons as to why they have lost confidence in Krebs, the first one being in July 2019 when Krebs brought attention to an alleged misconduct by then Captain Cory Pickard that occurred more than 10 years prior. This happened while Pickard was in the interview process for the chief of police position.
According to the letter, Krebs took the information to three different officials, each of them investigating and finding no proof of misconduct. Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley stated the allegations, "contained evidence of factional and political posturing... [that] should have no place in the criminal process or good government."
The FOP states the incident materializes the idea that Krebs has some sort of against Cory Pickard.
In response to the letter, Krebs says she informed the mayor about the incident because of a third party's involvement. The mayor then decided the course of action and she sought no charges against Pickard. She also says she recommended an external investigation and review of the situation.
Krebs admits to requesting policies and procedures of the department, as she has done before with policies related to Human Resources in an effort to ensure a fair and consistent manner is being followed. She says she didn't know Pickard before working for the city and she had never had any negative interactions with him, to her knowledge.
Another incident referred to in the FOP's letter occurred later in 2019 when Maumelle police officers allegedly submitted affidavits to Krebs for an arrest warrant on a citizen, listing a charge for disorderly misconduct. They say she denied prosecution of the citizen, despite law enforcement's concern for their safety, the public's safety, and safety of children attending school nearby the location of the misconduct. The FOP says she sent a letter to the citizen advising him to cease these actions or he would be arrested.
Krebs' response to this allegation is that she remembers initially approving the affidavits, but Judge Bailey allegedly contacted her with concerns. After researching recent case law, she found the "misconduct" that occurred could be protected under the First Amendment and sent a letter to the citizen warning them their obstruction of traffic may constitute disorderly conduct.
Additionally in 2019, a separate citizen allegedly filed a report of criminal trespassing to the police department, who presented evidence for a suspect to Krebs. According to the letter, Krebs refused to prosecute because the evidence "did not meet the necessary requirements." She allegedly sent a letter to the citizen as she had done in the previous incident. The letter from the FOP also noted the suspect had previously filed a lawsuit against the city.
The letter also alleges Krebs has repeatedly questioned officers' affidavits, made a statement about the police department being "lazy," and misled the City Council on various occasions.
The letter ends by asking Krebs to resign from her position or for the mayor, prosecuting attorney, or city council to take the necessary measure to have her removed.
Krebs responded by stating:
"I have made every effort to be prepared for the cases we bring to trial, and I will continue to do so. It is my hope that we can all continue to strive to do the best job we can for the citizens of Maumelle."
Krebs responds to all of the allegations from the FOB, you can find her full statement on her Facebook page.