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Tony Coffman may no longer be the police chief in Bryant, but he still knows what is happening in his former hometown.
During a Jan. 9 press conference, Bryant Mayor Jill Dabbs made the allegation that Bryant City Alderman Adrian Henley had "illegally accessed" the personnel files of several city employees, both current and past. Coffman's file was one of those files in question.
After hearing of the allegations, Coffman contacted The Saline Courier and issued the following statement: "Please remove my name from your list of employees. I was asked by the former city attorney if I would let an Alderman see my personal file and I said yes. I never had any problem with anyone reading or looking at my file, I had nothing to hide."
He also indicated that he was contacted by Nga Mahfouz, then city attorney, and was asked if he objected to his file being accessed.
Coffman was police chief in Bryant when Dabbs was elected mayor in November 2010. One month later, on Dec. 16, Coffman announced his retirement.
He had served the Bryant Police Department for 18 years including two years as the police chief. Coffman cited a lack of communication from Dabbs as the main reason for his retirement, effective on Dec. 31, 2010. He said the only time that Dabbs has ever spoken with him was during the election.
Responding to Coffman's statement, then Mayor-elect Dabbs told the Courier: "I see him (Coffman) at meetings and we talk. I have seen and spoken with him. At his request, I met with him twice during the election. He decided to retire early, and I wish him and his family the best."
Coffman left the Bryant force to take a position as an officer with the Camack Village Police Department.