When Crossville police chief Rod Shoap left his position 6 weeks ago, city councilman Jesse Kerley made some accusations and claims at the time that appear to have been intimidation attempts.
Kerley said in an interview on July 1 concerning a story on Shoap's resignation that “Everything that Chief Shoap told you was a bunch of trash. Chief Shoap was not hired (as the regular police chief) for a reason. If he wants to spout off his mouth like he did, that's just wrong what he's done. He'll be lucky if doesn't cause the city to be sued.”
According to Kerley at the time, he claimed that Shoap resigned when people found out about his action against one of his officers and that following Shoap's conversation with the officer, their significant other had called Shoap up and chewed him out.
Kerley also alleged in his phone conversation that Shoap had told the officer to get rid of their significant other because of the same sex nature of the relationship.
Even though Kerley referred to the two as “gay,” Shoap said he didn't know if that was the case or not at the time. According to Shoap, the two owned property together. Shoap said the action he took was based on a report from a security officer from a college in Georgia after to a paper written by the “significant other” included threats to harm themselves with the police officers weapon. The incident lead to a request from the Georgia college for a welfare check at Crossville though the person was actually in Georgia at the time. The reference to firearms in a college paper caught the attention of the college security.
It was determined that the other person had a criminal history and Shoap explained it was a violation of the police policy for an officer to consort with a person who has a criminal past and that was the reason for the discussion of the separation by the two.
Kerley had also claimed that Shoap had no reason to run a criminal history on the other person and shouldn't have done so. Shoap explained that the Georgia college security had run the background check and not the Crossville police department.
Recently interim city manager Steve Hill was asked about the status of the reported investigation into the claim involving Chief Shoap and the police officer and Hill said that as far as he knew, there was never an investigation. Hill described it this way, “it was talk. There is nothing to it that I know of.”
In addition, if there had been any type of harassment complaint as Mr. Kerley claimed, there is a very specific city harassment policy and short timeline for an investigation to take place and that time line has since expired.
Former Crossville police Chief Rod Shoap
City councilman Jesse Kerley
Related story: Interim Manager Steve Hill and councilman Jesse Kerley respond to Shoap resignation controversy from July 1, 2016