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Officer hired by Hallsville was terminated by Longview Police Department

By Robyn Claridy
Jan. 9, 2012 at 11 p.m.

One of the peace officers officer hired by the Hallsville Police Department this past week is facing the grievance phase of his termination from Longview Police Department.

Paul Montoya, 32, was hired as a patrol officer with Hallsville to fill one of the three vacant positions opened after the mayor fired the police chief and two officers and the lone remaining officer resigned.

City of Longview spokesman Shawn Hara said Montoya was employed as a patrol officer from Aug. 1, 2005 to Dec. 15, 2011 when he was terminated.

Hara did not elaborate about the termination because it is in the "grievance phase," in which a panel of employees will hear what Montoya has to say in regards to the termination, he said.

Hallsville Police Chief Lukas Reynolds said Montoya is an "outstanding officer for the City of Hallsville."

"He has been a fantastic officer," Reynolds said. "He has the experience, training and qualifications, and I felt he was one of the best I could hire for the job. I have received no negative information at all from his background and he has been extremely forthcoming and honest about the grievance with Longview police."

Montoya was among two who were hired to fill vacant positions within the department this past week.

Reynolds also hired Shane Guthrie to fill the city's sergeant position that was formerly filled by Sgt. Mack Fuller.

Guthrie's first day with the department will be Thursday.

Reynolds said the department is still working to find an officer for the one vacant position, but expects it to be filled before the end of the month.

Hallsville Mayor Jerri Medrano terminated chief Greg Scott, Fuller and patrol officer T.C. Livingston Dec. 28. The lone remaining patrol officer, Earl Dykes, resigned in the middle of his shift that same day.

Since the officers were terminated, residents have rallied for the terminated officers and have gone door to door trying to get signatures on a petition in attempts to reinstate the officers.



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