The City of Glen Rose on Friday fired Dwain “Moose” Whitfield from his city maintenance supervisor job for refusing to take a drug test.
The termination letter, signed by City Superintendent Ronald Bruce, was obtained by the Reporter under the state Open Records Act.
The one-sentence letter did not provide details about the circumstances behind his termination.
Performance reviews also obtained by the Reporter showed that Whitfield, who was hired in 2005, had received “very good” to “outstanding” performance ratings between 2005 and 2008. However, in recent months Whitfield had missed work and had been cited for lagging attendance.
The city administers random drug tests of city workers. Refusing to take one is a violation of personnel policy and grounds for dismissal.
Whitfield could not be reached for comment.
He is the son of former Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Mitchell, who was re-elected in May. Mitchell submitted a letter of resignation last week, saying that she was “very disheartened with politics in our town.”
“It is a shame we can’t disagree without personal attack,” Mitchell wrote. “If it means we have to destroy lives to make a point, I don’t want to be a part of that kind of politics. I am sorry if I let you down but my place is with my family who have suffered because of this.”
In late August the Glen Rose City Council had voted not to fire Whitfield or discipline or reprimand him although he failed to disclose a crime conviction from his job application.
The council made the decision after a special meeting was called following an investigation by the Glen Rose Reporter. In August the newspaper reported that Whitfield had been convicted of theft by check eight months before applying for a maintenance job in 2005. He also had pleaded guilty and received deferred adjudication for an indecent exposure offense in Stephenville a few months before he applied for the city job.
But when asked if he had been convicted of a crime within the last seven years on his 2005 job application, Whitfield had checked “no.” Deferred adjudication is a form of probation.
Background checks on Whitfield’s application were not performed at the time. His job application was placed in a folder at the city maintenance “barn” and was not transferred to Town Hall, where the city secretary performs the checks.
The council met in executive session when it considered whether to fire or discipline Whitfield. When it reconvened in an open public meeting, council member Bob Stricklin moved to terminate Whitfield’s employment with the city. Council member Sue Oldenburg seconded the motion.
Stricklin and Oldenburg voted in favor; council members Chris Bryant and Johnny Martin voted against firing Whitfield. Mayor Pam Miller broke the tie and also voted not to fire him “at this time.”
Whitfield had been temporarily in charge of maintenance operations at Oakdale Park until the disclosure of his previous arrests.