Mayor, citizens angry over rehiring of officer who pleaded guilty of crime

Mayor, citizens angry over rehiring of officer who pleaded guilty of crime

WESTMORELAND, TN (WSMV) – Like many in her small Sumner County town, Keiona Moss has never met Amanda Wolfe.

Moss has only ever seen the <a href=”https://www.wsmv.com/news/westmoreland-officer-arrested-for-assaulting-suspect/article_6d96a83c-c908-11e9-ad71-33cb94a32708.html” target=”_blank”>body camera footage of Wolfe</a>.

It was that footage that ultimately resulted in her being terminated from her job as a police officer in Westmoreland and saw her plead guilty to assault.

Despite never meeting her, Moss still turned up Thursday night at the town’s city council meeting to speak out against Wolfe being rehired at the job.

“(Residents are) going to be scared to be pulled over. They’re going to be scared of what she’s going to do,” Moss said. “She’s a liability to the city.”

News4 Investigates first reported how Wolfe was accused by her fellow police officer, Elizabeth Lehner, of trying to cover up the assault on a suspect in her custody by <a href=”https://www.wsmv.com/news/investigations/before-assault-on-inmate-officer-directed-that-body-camera-be-turned-off/article_fac2a7c6-37ce-11ea-9913-e3073e147fad.html” target=”_blank”>instructing Lehner to turn off her body camera</a>.

“I could tell she said, ‘Turn your body camera off.’ You can’t hear it. You can see her mouthing it,” Lehner told TBI investigators. “Never crossed my mind what she would do next.”

But nearly a year after her termination, the city’s new <a href=”https://www.wsmv.com/news/investigations/police-chief-i-intend-to-rehire-officer-who-pleaded-guilty-to-assault/article_3477d14c-22e5-11eb-b02b-97341b14c65b.html” target=”_blank”>police chief indicated he would ask the City Council to hire her back</a>.

Among those concerned about Wolfe’s rehiring is Jerry Kirkman, the town’s mayor, who said he has been contacted by police officers across the United States staying that Wolfe gave them a bad reputation.

“I’ve received calls from Texas, Illinois, all across the United States,” Kirkman said.

Kirkman also said that he had contacted the city’s insurance company and is not convinced that they will be covered if a similar incident happens again.

In a narrow decision, the <a href=”https://www.wsmv.com/news/westmoreland-council-votes-to-rehire-officer-who-pleaded-guilty-to-assault/article_bb13726a-2add-11eb-a997-1714496a26f3.html” target=”_blank”>council voted 3-2 to rehire</a> Wolfe.

“Some people deserve second chances, and I’m about giving people second chances, but there are some people who don’t,” Moss said.

Steven Jolley, Westmoreland’s new police chief, said that Wolfe will be on probation for a year and that Wolfe’s expungement is expected soon.