advertisement

Former police information officer claims chief violated her privacy

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 | 5:46 p.m. CDT; updated 6:54 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, May 11, 2011

COLUMBIA — Police Chief Ken Burton on Wednesday denied a claim by former police officer Jessie Haden that he violated her privacy by telling a reporter she was involved in an affair with the former deputy police chief.

Burton called the allegation "ridiculous." It appears in a letter of resignation from Haden published by the Columbia Daily Tribune on Wednesday.

Haden, who had been the department's public information officer, was reassigned in December in a move Burton said was "indirectly" related to the resignation of then-Deputy Police Chief Tom Dresner. Dresner ended his 26-year career with the department after it was revealed he had an affair with an unidentified female subordinate.

While covering the story, a KOMU reporter filed a Sunshine Law request with the police department asking for Dresner's e-mails. KOMU Executive Director Stacey Woelfel signed off on the request.

Another KOMU reporter, Maurice Scarborough, interviewed Burton around that time to ask about why Haden had been reassigned. Burton repeated that the decision was related to Dresner's resignation, Scarborough said. 

In the letter of resignation published by the Tribune, Haden alleged that Burton “deliberately” revealed her identity to make the records request “go away.” Scarborough, however, said that while the relationship was implied, Burton never directly indicated to him that Haden was the woman with whom Dresner had an affair.

Scarborough did not file the original Sunshine Law request and was unaware of it when he interviewed Burton.

“It wasn’t a trade at all,” he said. “I didn’t know that a request had been put in when I talked to Ken Burton.”

Neither Haden nor Dresner could be reached for comment Wednesday. Burton said the city's Human Resources Department is looking into the matter and discussed it with him last week.

Human Resources Director Margrace Buckler, who is handling the case, was unavailable for comment Wednesday afternoon.


Like what you see here? Become a member.


Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Comments

Dan Levitan May 12, 2011 | 4:03 p.m.

My dad always told me to keep it in my pants if you don't want to deal with the consequences.

I am sure there is some equivalent that young women are told by their parents...

Be glad your not in the military Jessie, you wouldn't have a job at all right now...

(Report Comment)

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.

advertisements