• Last modified 466 days ago (Jan. 12, 2023)


Marion drug dog goes to sheriff

Staff writer

Marion sold its drug-sniffing dog, Blue, to the sheriff’s office Monday for $6,000.

The sheriff’s office also agreed to buy $679 in equipment for the dog, which went with former police officer Aaron Slater when he transferred back to the sheriff’s office in November.

Tension between Mayor David Mayfield and city council member Ruth Herbel continued before a 3-1 vote to accept $6,679 for Blue and equipment.

Herbel accused Mayfield of negotiating terms of Blue’s transfer, which violated city ethics rules because Mayfield works part-time for the sheriff’s office.

She initially argued that voting on the sale was moot because the sheriff’s office already had sent a check to the city.

“It hasn’t been deposited,” Mayfield said.

Mayfield insisted that he wasn’t involved in price negotiations.

He did admit to tearing up a copy of an agreement that Sheriff Jeff Soyez said city administrator Mark Skiles had prepared.

Mayfield said Soyez called him about the agreement after the city had fired Skiles. Soyez said he wasn’t comfortable signing it.

“Did I negotiate the price of the dog at any time?” Mayfield asked Soyez on Monday.

“No,” Soyez answered.

As a part-time employee of the sheriff’s department, which paid him $1,311.51 in 2022, Mayfield is forbidden by city code section 1-208 to even discuss the sale.

The section states that that no city officer “shall discuss in any capacity” or “otherwise participate in” any agreement with any entity from which he receives $1,000 or more in remuneration.

Violation is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to 90 days imprisonment.

Last modified Jan. 12, 2023