Police chief's appeal for reinstatement comes to an end

A fired police chief's public effort to get his job back in Lonoke County ended Tuesday night.

Chief Herman Hutton in England believed he was forced out as chief because of his public profession of his faith as a Christian.

After an hour-long executive session the England City Council failed to second a motion to reinstate Hutton as its police chief. Hutton was fired in early September by Mayor Danny Maynard Sr.

The afternoon started with a rally of about 100 people in the city park rallying for Hutton. Many of those citizens attended the meeting as the building reached maximum capacity and some were forced to stand outside and wait on the decision.

The council voted to allow three people to speak five minutes each on Hutton's behalf. Those three included a pastor, former officer and City of Benton Police Chief Kirk Lane.

Channel 7 followed Hutton outside of the meeting where our cameras were rolling for an exclusive address to his supporters.

"I became your police chief because I wanted to protect you," Hutton began. "I wanted to do what was right in this community, and I love every one of you."

"What this shows is that there are still some people who are scared. There's fear. All we can is pray for folks that are like that," he continued.

Following the meeting we continued our effort to speak with Maynard about the matter.

He continued to stay tight lipped about the decision, although he released a statement weeks ago said Hutton's faith had absolutely nothing to do with his termination.

The mayor also maintained that chief of police in an at-will position so he doesn't have to give a reason for firing the person over the department.

Channel 7 confirmed following the meeting that a current officer turned in his badge after the council's decision as symbol of his resignation. This marks at least the second officer to quit his job over the mayor's firing of Hutton.

Hutton's attorney told us there will indeed be a legal appeal going forward.