Okolona assistant police chief fired

CJ-0718-OKBOA-Water-Bills-1C.jpgOKOLONA – Aldermen voted 5-1 Tuesday night, to terminate employment of Okolona Assistant Police Chief Romona Robertson.

Robertson was found guilty of driving under the influence, speeding and disorderly conduct following an eight-hour trial in Chickasaw County Justice Court in May. She was fined of $600 plus court cost. Robertson was found not guilty of possession of a controlled substance. The judge did not impose jail time on any of the misdemeanor charges.

Okolona aldermen have begun holding hearing at their regular monthly board meeting allowing public citizens to voice their concerns about police efforts – both good and bad. The effort is designed to make the department more open to the public and make sure the city is aware of efforts to stamp out crime.

Tuesday’s vote saw Ward 3 Alderman Eldridge Lowe cast the lone vote in Robertson’s favor.

Robertson said at the May trial she was no longer working with the Okolona Police Department and was was on medical leave due to a job related injury. Robertson has not been on duty since her conviction.

Robertson’s legal problems had political ramifications and longtime Okolona Police Chief Tommie Ivy was defeated by current Okolona Police Chief Willie Moore in municipal races this summer.

The charges against Robertson were filed in District 1 Justice Court on Feb. 5, by Mississippi Highway Patrolman James Burrow. Burrow and Trooper Cindy Searcy stopped Robertson on Dec. 7, on Highway 32 just east of its intersection with Highway 15, prompting the case to be heard in the Houston Justice Court.

During the trial Burrow said he clocked Robertson driving a white Okolona Police Department Challenger at 77 miles-an-hour in a 55-zone and watched her cross the centerline several times. Searcy said she found 18 pills, later determined to be hydrocodone, in a blue unmarked bottle in the driver’s door pocket of the patrol car.

The pills were later ruled to part of a 150 pill prescription written by an Okolona physician.

Robertson said the stop was part of a conspiracy and repeatedly said she was not speeding, had back problems that prompted her unsteady walk, dental surgery that prompted her slurred speech and complied with all reasonable requests of both officers.

Videos showing Robertson staggering, refusing to take a drug test, talking excitedly and later crying and cursing were shown at the trial.

Marshall County Justice Court Judge Earnest Cunningham found Robertson guilty of three of four misdemeanor charges. Chickasaw County Justice Court Judges, citing the political nature of the case, recused themselves, prompting Cunningham to be brought in from Marshall County to render a verdict.

 

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