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City seeks settlement with former police chief

Sinclaire Sparkman • Sep 10, 2018 at 9:02 PM

The Lebanon City Council will meet in two special-called meetings Tuesday and Wednesday to vote on a settlement agreement with former police Chief Scott Bowen. 

According to terms of the settlement, the city will give Bowen $100,000 if the council approves the deal. 

Bowen was fired by then-Mayor Phillip Craighead in 2014 and reinstated by court order in November with back pay. A few hours after his reinstatement, Bowen was placed on administrative leave and fired again in January.

Bowen signed the agreement that could settle the matter, which says he will dismiss legal claims against the city in exchange for the $100,000 payment. 

The ordinance will be up for first reading Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. at a special-called meeting and then up for final reading during a second special-called meeting Wednesday also at 5:15 p.m. 

An incident with the city’s then-Public Safety division led to Bowen’s firing in 2014. 

After he was reinstated in November 2017, Bowen was called to a pre-action disciplinary hearing Jan. 11 with Lebanon Mayor Bernie Ash. Ash gave Bowen a list of disciplinary problems the city found against him. According to Bowen’s attorney Keith Williams, the list of reasons was the same as the one given in court three years prior when Bowen was originally fired. 

According to the proposed ordinance, litigation could continue for one to three years, and the settlement would bring the matter to an end. 

Also at Tuesday’s special-called meeting, the city will vote on final reading to authorize funds for a soccer complex, up to three neighborhood parks and a connecting trail system, as well as approve a contract with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to repave North Castle Heights, Franklin Road and Crowell Lane. 

The council will meet Tuesday and Wednesday at 5:15 p.m. at the Town Meeting Hall at 200 N. Castle Heights Ave. in Lebanon. 

Former staff writer Jacob Smith contributed to this report.

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