Police in Evansdale, a town of 4,500 just east of Waterloo, are asking their boss to resign. The Evansdale police bargaining unit held a meeting last Friday and gave a unanimous vote of “no confidence” against the city’s top officer, Chief Michael Burke. Mayor John Mardis says the results of that vote were released to him and the city council last (Wednesday) night.
Now Mardis has released the letter, in which the bargaining unit is asking Burke to resign, saying officers have lost faith in his leadership. Mardis says the vote involves various issues, but the letter focuses on a recent investigation surrounding Chief Burke, who allegedly took some abandoned property home in his squad car.
Mardis says they cited a recent incident that was investigated by the Division of Criminal Investigation, in which Chief Burke took home a power washer that had been seized by police. The D-C-I concluded that there was no criminal intent, but officers felt differently.
The mayor says, “They have exercised their right to speak collectively. This is a serious matter, and I take their communication seriously.” By law, Mardis now must make a decision about Chief Burke’s future, then get a vote from the city council. The mayor is expected to make his decision before Tuesday night’s council meeting.