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Virginia police chief fights firing

Virginia police Chief Dana Waldron said Tuesday the city is trying to fire him and he will have the chance to defend himself in a trial scheduled for next month.

Virginia police Chief Dana Waldron said Tuesday the city is trying to fire him and he will have the chance to defend himself in a trial scheduled for next month.

According to a letter Waldron received Monday from the Virginia Police Civil Service Commission, he has been charged administratively with inefficiency and misconduct while serving as chief of police. The letter states that Waldron will have an opportunity to defend himself against the charges in a trial scheduled for June 6-8 in the Virginia City Council chambers.

"I called it a witch hunt," Waldron said. "That might be a little strong, but that's my belief. The city of Virginia is sparing no expense in trying to get rid of me."

Waldron was placed on paid administrative leave in January. He has denied any wrongdoing. He has been a Virginia police officer for 32 years, including the past nine years as chief. A city official ordered him to turn in his vehicle and duty gear in January. Waldron said there has been an ongoing investigation of him since then.

He has said he could speculate on why the action was taken, but that he doesn't really know the reason.

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Virginia City Operations Director John Tourville informed Waldron that a complaint was filed against him on Jan. 21. Tourville's letter said, "Policy No. 103 of the Virginia Police Policy Manual states that it is the city's policy to investigate circumstances that suggest an officer has engaged in unbecoming conduct, and impose disciplinary actions when appropriate."

There was no hint as to what the alleged unbecoming conduct might be. Virginia Detective Dennis Benz is serving as the acting chief of police.

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