OBITUARIES: Decatur | Shoals | Huntsville
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Attorney expects chief will return to his post
By Tom Smith -

SHEFFIELD — Attorney Tony Hughes said he hopes his client is back at work by Monday morning.

Hughes represents Greg Ray, who was terminated as Sheffield’s police chief in October.

“All along, our goal has been to get Greg his job back,” said Hughes.

Hughes and Florence attorney James Irby are handling Ray’s appeal to the city’s Civil Service Board.

Ray, 54, was terminated Oct. 26 after being given a choice of resigning or facing termination because of performance issues, Mayor Ian Sanford said at the time. Among the performance issues cited was Ray’s failure to address concerns brought up by the mayor and council members.

The appeal hearing began last Thursday and was adjourned about 7 p.m. The proceeding will reconvene at 1 p.m. Friday.

Hughes said he hopes the case will be decided Friday.

“(The Civil Service Board) indicated they want to get it resolved Friday,” Hughes said. “It’s up to the board if they make a decision Friday after hearing all of the testimony.”

Hughes said he and Irby have several witnesses to call. They also plan to call Ray to testify.

During testimony last week, Sanford said he sent emails to Ray outlining performance issues that needed correcting.

During cross examination, Sanford said he never told him that failing to correct the problems could lead to termination.

Sanford said he fired Ray because of insubordination, malfeasance in office and for conduct detrimental to the Sheffield Police Department.

The mayor spent more than three hours testifying. He said the chief’s termination was done with consent from all council members.

All council members who were serving at the time of Ray’s termination testified last week that they agreed with the termination.

Ray is on leave with pay while his appeal is being heard.

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