Trumann council takes no action on personnel issue
Earnie Link was recently removed from his leadership position as chief of the Trumann Fire Department by Mayor Barbara Lewallen. Community members packed the courtroom during the city council meeting Tuesday night hoping for answers. But though the council met for over two hours in executive session to discuss the personnel issue, with Link being called in at one point to plead his case, they decided to take no action on the matter, and the community learned little about what was happening concerning Link.
"We will do our best to be fair," Mayor Lewallen told those gathered. "The decision of the council is that no action will be taken. That means they did not overturn my decision." Mayor Lewallen said she would be consulting with City Attorney Jimmy Gazaway to see what to do next regarding the situation.
Several community members voiced their disapproval during the meeting, but council members do not speak publicly about personnel issues. Mayor Lewallen told those present that the decision was not personal, that she appreciated everyone's comments and wanted to be fair. Then the meeting was adjourned.
Wednesday morning, Mayor Lewallen clarified that Link was not terminated, saying he was on vacation after being removed from a leadership position. She said she was consulting with Gazaway on several matters such as pay and that Link could get the opportunity to earn back the position of fire chief.