Meeting with marshal delayed

There is still no decision about the current state of affairs surrounding the Camp Verde Marshal's Office.

Town Manager Bill Lee indicated that a follow-up meeting with Marshal John Wischmeyer has been rescheduled for March 8.

"We cancelled our meeting for today. We will meet Monday," Lee said on Friday but offered no further comment.

Wischmeyer was removed from his duties and placed on paid administrative leave on Feb. 17. According to Wischmeyer, Lee arrived at his office with a letter requesting that he leave the premises and relinquish his firearms and credit cards. He was offered a ride home and two officers escorted him from the premises.

Since then, Lee has met with Wischmeyer at least once, apparently in order to give Wischmeyer time to respond to concerns. The marshal is a for-cause employee who reports directly to Manager Lee.

No indication of the abrupt action has yet been released, but indications of a problem surfaced last spring when the council requested a Department of Public Safety investigation. Mayor-elect Mitch Dickinson suggested at the time that focal points of the investigation would center on personnel issues, magistrate concerns and procedural and organization issues.

Dane Bullard who was acting town manager during that timeframe, was asked what happened with that investigation. He commented just this month that they did meet with DPS officials in Phoenix in 2003 but that, "It never got off the ground. They were not able to because of limited manpower," he explained.

Lee's subsequent action in February of this year, some 10 months later, was the first indication of continued concerns.

Sgt. Ralph O'Donnal, a retired DPS officer who has been with the marshal's office for nine years, is acting interim marshal who was appointed by Lee.

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