Today is Friday, August 18, 2017

No resolution between city, Bowen

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Former Lebanon Police Chief Scott Bowen and his attorney Keith Williams, a partner at Lannom & Williams, sat down with city attorney Andy Wright this morning to seek "an amicable resolution."

Bowen was removed from his position as chief on Wednesday in an email from Mayor Philip Craighead. Williams said a resolution was not achieved during this morning's two hour meeting - but they are still hoping to work things out.

As of now Williams said they have five days according to the city charter to file a notice to evoke rights of disciplinary appeal. They plan to move forward with filing the notice.

Craighead named Capt. Michael Vanhook as interim chief until a new chief can be selected. He is in the process of establishing a selection committee to fill the position.

Bowen's attorney, Keith Williams, Partner at Lannon & Williams, released a statement Thursday that they had been in contact with the Lebanon Mayor's Office and City Attorney and "are looking forward to an amicable resolution regarding this matter."

Craighead told The Wilson Post that Bowen would remain a city employee until the end of the year, but that the role of interim chief would be filled by Capt. Michael VanHook immediately. VanHook has been with the Lebanon Police Department for the past 18 years.

Bowen initially declined to comment on his dismissal when news broke Wednesday evening.

Craighead told media outlets via email that it was "time to make a change with the Chief of Police."

"This was not an easy decision but one that was made in the best interest of the City of Lebanon's citizens and employees," he continued, giving little detail surrounding the situation. "I am not going to comment on any personnel details and Scotty Bowen has served this City of many years. I will state that it is simply time to change direction."

Craighead said that he will be forming a 4 or 5 person committee to select a new chief of police. "We are going to set up a selection committee, like when we hired Finance Commissioner Robert Springer. We will take resumes and weed it down," he said. "That committee will help with setting up interviews and going from there, but the final decision is mine."

Bowen has served as Lebanon Police Chief since 2003 and has served on the police force since 1990.

"During that time, he has overseen dramatic growth and improvements in the department, which have assisted the citizens of our city. He is proud of the progress that's been made and it is his sincere hope that the LPD continues to grow and improve in its service and support to our community," Williams' release stated.

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at sgarrett@wilsonpost.com.

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Andy Wright, Keith Williams, Lebanon Police, Michael Vanhook, Philip Craighead, Scott Bowen
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