Vienna City Council votes to terminate police chief
By Neil B. McGahee
For months the word on the streets was that Vienna Police Chief Cozie Ray was going to be fired for unspecified complaints made by citizens.
Finally in a called meeting, Thursday afternoon the Vienna City Council announced that the suspended chief had indeed been terminated. The decision comes on the heels of a meeting held a week earlier with independent investigator, attorney Greg O’Berry of Cochran, who had been retained by the city to investigate complaints by citizens about Ray.
“Mr. O’Berry was recommended by a Vienna citizen who was familiar with his previous work,” said City Administrator Michael Bowens. “Mr. O’Berry is very respected in his field. He is a former cop, who went back to school to earn a law degree.”
Bowens said the investigation included interviews with the people who had filed complaints against the chief.
Ray’s termination was announced by Mayor Pro-tem Randall Almond.
“Mr. Mayor, At this time I make a motion,” Almond said. “to direct Mayor Daniels to terminate and give written notice to Chief Ray of the rights of appeal under the City of Vienna charter.”
The motion was seconded and the council voted 3-1 to terminate Ray’s employment with Councilman Albert King voting against.
There was no mention of who might be named to succeed Ray. Meanwhile Sgt. Leeann Daabs is serving as the interim chief.