Police chief includes earlier meeting with officer in recommendation letter

The police chief is questioning whether statements made by a Franklin police officer before his arrest were truthful, which is another consideration in the recommendation to fire the officer, according to a letter from the chief.

In his letter to Officer Bryan K. Burton, the chief cited Burton’s recent arrest on a domestic battery charge and a meeting between Burton and the chief on Oct. 19 as his reasons for recommending two disciplinary charges against Burton and his firing to the police merit board.

The meeting last week, which was before Burton’s arrest, was to discuss Burton’s conduct and various issues regarding his performance and actions, the letter from Franklin Police Chief Tim O’Sullivan said.

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And since then, O’Sullivan has learned that statements Burton made or the way he represented matters were not truthful or were deceptive, the letter said.

O’Sullivan declined to discuss details of the case.

The chief filed two disciplinary charges against Burton of conduct unbecoming an officer and conduct injurious to the public peace or welfare.

The police merit board will consider any internal investigation by the police department and testimony from both sides to determine if those charges are appropriate, and what, if any, punishment Burton should face, which could range from suspension, to demotion or dismissal.

No date has been set for the hearing, said Bill Barrett, the merit board’s attorney.

Burton was suspended without pay from the police department after his arrest Sunday.

Police were called to a dispute at Burton’s Franklin home Sunday, and both Bryan Burton and his wife, Jordan Burton, were arrested on a domestic battery charge. Jordan Burton told police her husband grabbed her arm, leaving a red mark and scratches. And Bryan Burton’s son told police Jordan Burton hit the son in the head, according to the police report.

A special prosecutor has been requested to consider what, if any, criminal charges should be filed against Bryan Burton because his 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.