Davis-Jones appeals firing

Former Pine Bluff Police Chief Brenda Davis-Jones is appealing her Jan. 1 dismissal by Mayor Debe Hollingsworth.

In a letter dated Jan. 2 to City Attorney Althea Hadden-Scott, Davis-Jones said she was requesting a called city council meeting “to appeal my firing.”

“As per protocol, this request must be made through your office,” Davis-Jones continued. “If this is not the point of origin in which this request should be made please let me know.”

In a Jan. 4 memo to council members and Hollingsworth, Hadden-Scott related Davis-Jones’ appeal request. Hadden-Scott wrote that “pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated 14-42-110,” the council can override the mayor’s decision by a two-thirds majority vote. Hadden-Scott said that requirement means that 75 percent — or six of the council’s eight members — would have to agree to an override.

Hadden-Scott said the council can address the matter at a regular or special meeting.

Hollingsworth campaigned in part on a pledge to make a change in the police department’s leadership. Davis-Jones had survived two council no-confidence votes. Meanwhile, an internal group of police officers had approved a no-confidence vote.

Davis-Jones was hired by former Mayor Carl A. Redus Jr. after Redus fired former chief John Howell. A council vote to override Howell's firing fell short by a single vote.