Texas Rangers agree to investigate New Boston city police chief

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new boston

The Texas Rangers have agreed to a request by the New Boston City Council to investigate Police Chief Tony King for firing a lieutenant without cause, racial discrimination in hiring and making taxpayer underwritten purchases without Council approval.

Citizens of this city of 4,500 in the far northeast corner of the state have alleged King has made arrests without probable cause in violation of their civil rights, City Council member Joe Dike told the Texarkana Gazette.

“People here are terrified of him,” Dike said. “I won’t stop until I get to the bottom of this. I have a duty to protect the city and to tell the truth. Thank God the Rangers are coming.”

Last Tuesday, during the same meeting, the Council directed Bowie County District Attorney Jerry Rochelle to request the Texas Rangers investigate, and voted to reinstate Lt. Johnny Millwood, dismissed without a reason by King on March 9.

Milwood is currently on paid administrative leave pending the Rangers’ investigation, according to KTBS-TV. However, Millwood’s status with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement is currently “terminated/separated.”

The Council inadvertently paved the way for Millwood’s dismissal when, in January, King asked for its approval of the city policy manual changes Dike said were described as “updates.” Among the updates was a rule change allowing a department head to fire any city employee without a right to appeal.

“I called King the day of the termination, and he said he couldn’t tell me (why Millwood was being fired),” Dike told the Gazette. “I believe the change to the personnel policy was made specifically so King could fire Millwood. We were told in January that it was a housekeeping matter and we passed it without ever seeing a copy. We didn’t know it removed the employee’s right to appeal. I feel we were misled.”

Butch Dunbar, a Texarkana attorney representing Millwood, said the Rangers — a division of the Texas Department of Public Safety — have been asked to investigate an allegation that King passed over a more qualified black officer to hire a white one, the story says.

In addition, King is alleged to have purchased a .50-caliber sniper rifle without Council approval.

Dike also gave the Gazette a written statement from a witness who said he saw King arrest a patron outside a local catfish restaurant more than a year ago. When the patron failed to clean up his dishes, King confronted him and although he tidied up, King followed him outside. When he would not provide his name, King arrested him, the story says.

When the witness and his mother went to the Police Department to complain, King was there to greet them. “He smirked, laughed and disrespected my mother,” the written statement read. “I explained the restaurant is not his kitchen, and unless someone is breaking the law, he has no right to arrest people for what he thinks should be done there.”

An unnamed “local member of the judiciary” later recommended to King that he release the patron, Dike told the Gazette.

Mark Lisheron can be reached at [email protected].

20 COMMENTS

  1. What’s really sad is no-one has investigated this department before now. I know in this small town PD including dispatchers at least 40 people have come and gone in the last 4 years. That turn over rate is astronomical. Someone needs to find out why the chief is the only one to blame. It wasn’t just his contribution in the losses on the force.

  2. The blue never go against their own. If they do they will get fired just look up all the cops who lost their job because hey exposed corruption in their department

  3. We had a idiotic police chief that asked one of the citizens, an honest police officer of a larger city, to investigate allegations against him. He had no idea that the one he asked to investigate was an honest officer and it, of course, resulted in the firing of the police chief. Thank God. Now we have a chief that everybody seems to get along with. Plus, city council has been able to open up lines of communication so that the officers have more incentives to stay in the dept. So far, so good.

  4. A MUCH better idea Governor Greg Abbott would be to REPLACE the
    “fbi” with our Texas Rangers.
    At least then we would know JUSTICE would be served – regardless what the politicians want…

  5. I worked for a police chief at one time who thought he was above any rules, and believed he was better than anyone who worked under him….

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely!

  6. My home town… how wonderful. ‍♂️

    It used to be the Mayberry of Texas… but unfortunately not anymore. Still some great people there, but there is a reason I left… i was the first person in at least 5 generations of New Bostonians to leave permanently.

  7. It’s unbelievable that the city council is blaming the chief for their lack of knowledge in passing the Manuel regulations. So the citizens are supposed to believe they were in the dark and they should not be held accountable because they do not know how to read. And we as citizens are to believe that you the city council are not in agreement of protecting the town and citizens by buying a sniper rifle. You are seriously wanting us to believe that the chief is running a muck and the worst thing you can come up with is he bought a weapon to protect you and that he as chief hired the person best qualified to help him protect the people. You the city should be ashamed for not standing behind him. Shame on you all for running with your tails tucked. I do not believe for one minute that the city council had know idea that he was cleaning house, you paved the road for him to do it. I also believe that he has always done the job you hired him to do or you would have fired him long ago. I firmly believe that citizens of New Boston needs to take a better look at the city council. How do you change policies without reading the fine print.

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