Caney City Mayor Joe Barron announces the resignation of Police Chief Michael Meissner during a special called meeting Tuesday night.

CANEY CITY — City officials accepted the resignation of Police Chief Michael Meissner — who is under investigation by the state — Tuesday night during a six-minute special called City Council meeting.

Though part of the meeting was scheduled to be held in closed session to discuss personnel matters, Mayor Joe Barron said no such action was needed. Barron then informed those on hand, mostly consisting of local and area media, that Meissner tendered a letter of resignation two weeks ago.

The resignation was accepted unanimously by Caney City’s four council members. It takes effect today.

“I ask the council for a motion, if you will ... that the services of Michael Meissner are no longer needed in Caney City,” Barron said, noting that he had talked with the chief “about the situation extensively.”

Meissner was seen briefly in his office at City Hall, but did not speak publicly.

He spoke with the Athens Review last week and did not mention his resignation.

“Nobody here in town has said anything to me about this,” he told the Review on Jan. 26. “ .. This is basically a moot issue around here.”

Officials with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education, which licenses peace officers, attended the meeting. James Heironimus, TCLEOSE’s director of enforcement and licensing, said the commission performed an on-site audit Tuesday afternoon before the meeting.

That audit, he said, yielded “some things in files that should be there that we were unable to find.” He said Barron will be notified of the findings of the audit, and that TCLEOSE would offer support in helping the city learn how to maintain proper records regarding its police department.

“We came here to offer our services more than anything else,” Heironimus said.

TCLEOSE has ongoing criminal and administrative investigations regarding Meissner. Those investigations will continue despite Meissner’s resignation, he said.

“This doesn’t stop any investigations or inquiries,” Heironimus said.

Through open records requests, the Review obtained documents showing Meissner was reprimanded twice in April 2005 for not reporting a pair of arrests. One arrest was for tampering with a witness, a state-jail felony, and the other was for impersonating a peace officer, a felony, and operation of a security company without a license, a Class A misdemeanor. The tampering charge was dismissed, according to the documents, and a grand jury no-billed the cases of impersonating an officer and operating a security company without a license.

TCLEOSE requires peace officers to report “any arrest, charge or indictment for a criminal offense above the grade of Class C misdemeanor, or any Class C misdemeanor involving the duties and responsibilities of office or family violence.” That report must be made to TCLEOSE within 30 days.

A third reprimand could mean a possible suspension of Meissner’s peace officer’s license, according to TCLEOSE.



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