Mid-South Officer Says He Was Wrongly Fired

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(Blytheville, AR) A Blytheville police officer and pastor says he was fired for going to church while he was on sick leave.

Now, Rodney Richardson says he was denied due process.

“I got a call saying that I was getting ready to be terminated for going to church on sick leave,” Richardson says.

In December, Richardson lost his job of four and a half years for allegedly violating the department’s sick leave policy.

A doctor diagnosed Richardson with bronchitis.

“I went to the doctor on the 13th. The doctor excused me from work from the 13th to the 18th,” Richardson claims.

Richardson is also a pastor at New Life Global Ministries in Osceola, AR.

He says on December 16th, he was feeling better and decided to go to church. That’s when he claims a local police officer made a surprise visit.

“Evidently they called the Osceola Police Department and sent an officer into my church, interrupting my service. I guess just to see if I was at church,” Richardson says.

On the following Monday, he was fired and received a letter from Chief Ross Thompson stating that he abused the sick leave policy.

Richardson was told to turn in all his police issued equipment.

Some of his church members believe he has not been treated fairly.

“Matter of fact he prayed for me about three Sundays ago. I was in there and I had a lot of pressure on me and God told him to come over and speak to me,” says Pearlene Ransom.

Blytheville’s police chief declined to comment on camera.

Richardson is appealing his firing to the Blytheville City Council.

In the meantime, he claims he should be reinstated and suspended with pay until the matter is decided.