Dinosaur police chief fired
November 21, 1999
Members of the Dinosaur Board of Trustees fired Police Chief Darrell Murphy Thursday, and the cause is unknown.
Dinosaur Mayor pro-tem Hank McKay and Trustee Bruce Petersen told Murphy his employment with the city had been terminated. When asked why, they cited town personnel ordinance 78, section 12.2 which states “all town employees serve at the pleasure of the Board of Trustees. No town employees have any vested or contractual right to a job with the Town of Dinosaur. No town employees have a right to any disciplinary procedures prior to termination. All employees are terminable-at-will and may be terminated with or without cause, without notice, and without an opportunity to be heard prior to or following termination.”
Town officials would not explain the reason for termination even to Murphy, as confirmed by Mayor Richard Blakley.
Blakley was out of town at the time Murphy was fired, but cited the personnel ordinance as the reason and said the board had a problem with Murphy, talked to him about it and it was not resolved.
“I thought we had it taken care of,” Blakley said. “I really haven’t got all the insight, yet.”
Murphy’s two direct supervisors are Trustees Carla Roloff and Bruce Petersen, neither of whom could be reached for comment.
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Despite the fact Roloff and Petersen are Murphy’s direct supervisors, Blakley said policy allows for any board member to fire any employee on the spot if need be.
“Basically, any trustee can fire any employee at-will,” Blakley said. “But usually we try to work it out.”
Randy Johns has been working part-ime to help Murphy and is working as interim police chief until the Board of Trustees determines its course of action.