Chief: Officer should be fired

The Franklin police chief plans to recommend the firing of an officer who was arrested over the weekend.

Chief Tim O’Sullivan plans to file two internal disciplinary charges against Officer Bryan K. Burton after Burton was arrested on a domestic battery charge.

The internal charges are conduct unbecoming an officer and conduct injurious to the public peace or welfare, O’Sullivan said. Burton was notified Tuesday afternoon.

Burton, a 14-year veteran of the police department, could argue his case in front of the appointed police merit board. A date for the hearing has not yet been set.

Disciplinary cases are sent to the police merit commission when the police chief wants an officer suspended for more than the allowed five days or wants the officer demoted or dismissed.

The appointed board then considers the disciplinary charges filed by the chief and any internal investigation or reports to support the case. The five-member appointed board decides if the charges are appropriate, and what, if any, punishment the officer should face.

Burton was previously suspended by the city board for 45 days in 2010 after an internal investigation turned up multiple department violations, including drinking on the job, giving alcohol to people younger than 21, improperly reporting time worked and not reporting a vehicle accident. Burton had fought the suspension at the time.

O’Sullivan declined to discuss specifics of the internal investigation of the recent incident.

Burton, 41, and his wife Jordan Burton, 31, were both arrested Sunday after police were called to their home for a dispute.

Jordan Burton told police her husband grabbed her by the arm leaving a red mark and scratches, according to a Johnson County Sheriff’s Office report. And Bryan Burton’s juvenile son told police that Jordan Burton hit the son in the head, the report said.

Jordan Burton also told police that Bryan Burton removed the battery from her car when she tried to leave, and he and his son took the car keys away from her, according to the sheriff’s office report. Sheriff’s deputies were asked to handle the case to avoid the appearance of a conflict by Franklin police.

A special prosecutor is being requested in the criminal case since Bryan Burton’s construction company is doing work at the home of Prosecutor Brad Cooper.

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Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at agoeller@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2718.