Resigned Jasper police chief had racial discrimination complaints

Resigned Jasper police chief had racial discrimination complaints

JASPER, TX (KTRE) - During a special called meeting Wednesday, the Jasper City Council voted unanimously to approve the police chief's letter of resignation.

Jasper Police Chief Robert MacDonald is stepping down for "personal reasons."

"I can't go into any details as to what lead to the resignation, but all parties agreed and I think it was for personal reasons," City Attorney Michael Ratcliff, Jasper said.

The council is not disclosing the details of MacDonald's 'separation agreement' with the city.

"The terms of that agreement is strictly confidential until it becomes binding on both parties," Ratcliff said.

MacDonald's resignation will be effective on Sept. 17.

Once MacDonald's resignation is effective on September 18th -- the city will begin its search for their next chief of police.

"We'll take the best candidates that will subject to be interviewed by the council and then one will be selected," Ratcliff said.

Jasper City Manager Denise Kelley confirmed that two white police officers have filed EEOC reports against MacDonald, who is also white, that allege racial discrimination.

Police Captain Gerald Hall said the report was filed a couple months ago. One of the officers now works for the Jasper County Sheriff's Office and the other still works for the department.

The one who is still an officer filed a federal lawsuit against the city in 2012, saying he was passed over for the police chief job in favor of Rodney Pearson, who is black. That lawsuit was settled out of court in 2013.

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