Bryant Mayor Jill Dabbs announced during a City Council meeting Thursday night that Bryant Police Chief Mark Kizer will be placed on unpaid administrative leave for five days beginning Monday, Oct. 28.
The disciplinary action results from an incident that occurred last summer when Kizer and School Resource Officer Lee Ledbetter used the city's credit card to pay for a meal at an upscale strip club and steakhouse while in Orlando, Fla., for SRO training.
The result of a human resources department investigation and a decision regarding the school resource officer are pending, said City Attorney Chris Madison.
Mayor Jill Dabbs told the crowd of local residents and news media that she took this action seriously and said Kizer would be put on unpaid leave because his actions represented Bryant in a bad light.
"I'm sorry you (the residents) had to bear the burden of this," Dabbs said.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the aldermen met in executive session to discuss the situation. After reconvening in public, the council members did not take any action.
Erica Horne, the only person to mention the incident during the public comment portion of the meeting, spoke in defense of Kizer. A poor decision should not ruin someone's name, she said.
"The problem I have with what has been going on is, I feel that it was a personal attack," Horne said. "I did not see that any city funds were used for anything inappropriate. It was used to buy dinner, which he was allotted."
There were no comments from residents objecting to the actions of Kizer and Ledbetter.
Cisco Casas, the weekend manager for Rachel's Place, was contacted by The Saline Courier on Thursday evening. He said that from table 20, the table that is listed on receipts from Kizer and Ledbetter, the officers could view the stage. Casas sent a photo from table 20 that was aimed toward the stage.
According to Casas, the table is open to the men's club and 50 feet away from the stripper stage, "but you need to look to the left or right, depending on what side of the table you are sitting on to see the stage."
According to his receipts, Kizer was present at the restaurant at 9:05 p.m. The women arrive for their shift at 7 p.m., said Casas.
Dabbs said she informed Kizer of his suspension on Thursday morning.
Kizer responded to a Saline Courier request for comment today. He said: "I haven't denied what I did about eating there and I am sorry for the assumptions in bringing any negative upon the city."
He said the mayor informed him of the suspension late Thursday.
"My understanding is I didn't violate any policy, but again I haven't read the (suspension) letter, but I brought negative on the city. I accept that and am moving forward."