Saluda fires police sergeant, citing harassment policy

Published 4:13 pm Tuesday, April 24, 2018

SALUDA — A Saluda Police officer was terminated last Friday, with city manager Jonathan Cannon saying his dismissal was a result of “willfully flagrant, wanton and lascivious behavior.”

Sgt. Christopher Buchanan had worked for the department since April 11, 2011.

Buchanan’s letter of dismissal states that he was in gross violation of the city’s personnel policy, as well as the city police department’s policy and procedure manual.

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The letter continues to detail the sections of the city’s personnel policy and police department’s procedure manual that Buchanan violated, which included six sections.

The city’s personnel policy prohibits harassment in the workplace, which is one section Cannon said Buchanan violated.

“The city prohibits harassment in any form that is based on sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age and/or disability,” states the city’s personnel policy’s Article 5, Section 6.

Other sections of violation, according to Cannon, included discourteous treatment of the public or other employee, harassment of an employee(s) and/or the public on the basis of sex or any other protected class status.

Sections of the police policy Buchanan violated, according to Cannon, include that all members shall be governed by the ordinary and reasonable rules of good conduct and behavior and shall not commit any act tending to bring discredit to the department and the city of Saluda; that members shall refrain from circulating scandalous stories about other members or other city employees, and shall refrain from circulating criticism of other members of the department or of the department itself; and that rumor and/or gossip will not be tolerated by any member of the Saluda Police Department.

Buchanan will be paid for his hours up until Friday, April 20, as well as any accrued vacation and compensatory time Buchanan accrued.

Buchanan does have the opportunity to appeal the decision, according to guidelines in the city’s personnel policy.

Cannon said the city cannot comment any further on the employee’s dismissal.

The Bulletin was unable to reach Buchanan for comment as of press time.