Yakutat, Alaska (KINY) - Former police officer Charley McAnally has spoken out about his recent hiring, and a subsequent recission of that job offer by the City of Hoonah.
McAnally has been in law enforcement for approximately 20 years, and has also served as a fireman and an advanced combat medic in the military.
Documents from a Hoonah City Council meeting on May 10 reportedly show that City Attorney James Sheehan found no wrongdoing on the part of Hoonah Mayor Gerald Byers in the hiring and subsequent dismissal of McAnally.
The offer was rescinded, officials said, because Mayor Byers had no authority to hire him.
The City of Hoonah declined to comment beyond saying that McAnally was not to be allowed on a ride along with Hoonah Department of Public Safety during a visit there.
McAnally said Byers had been asking him for quite some time to come to Hoonah.
“[Byers] kept asking me to come work there for about six months,” McAnally said. “I had other things to do at the time. I kept saying no, things weren't right. You know, there was some kind of big fight going on. And I didn't want in the middle of it. So, I took a different job. Later, I felt things had settled down. So, when he asked me still asking me to come take the lieutenant's job, I finally agreed. [Byers] typed up a contract, and right before I signed it, I called him again I said, is everything still a go, because after I sign this, I'm going to quit my job. He said, everything's a go, so I quit my job at the Yakutat Police Department. I signed the contract. And I turned in my notice to leave Tlingit & Haida housing.”
Then came the rescission of the job offer, McAnally said.
“A couple of days before I was supposed to go there, [Byers] emailed me and said that they were rescinding the offer,” McAnally said. “So, I emailed him back because there's no rescinding an offer, we're past that stage. We've already moved into the contract stage. And I don't accept the rescinding of this contract. I said it's a legal binding contract. I'm sorry that you've changed your mind, but we're going to stick with the contract. I've already quit my job. I've already turned in my notice to move out of the house. And so, I need this contract upheld.”
According to McAnally, the city council was unaware that Byers hired him. McAnally also said the mayor wanted him to replace current police chief Eric Hurtado.
“They didn't even know until I got there,” McAnally said. “They did not even know that the mayor had hired me. The meeting was on April 12. I arrived on April 11. I was supposed to go to work. He called me before that, and asked me would I be willing to take the chief’s spot, that they're going to fire the chief? And I said no, not under those conditions. I don't want to put another man out of a job.”
McAnally alleges that Byers said Hurtado agreed to a buyout of his contract.
“[Byers] called me back right before I came and said we've agreed to a buyout … we're buying out [Hurtado’s] contract, would you mind taking his place on April 12 and become the acting chief? I believed that the chief had agreed to a buyout of his contract. So, at that time, I said yes, I'll take over as chief. Then, it was a couple days later, when he said no, never mind, we’ve changed our mind, you don't even have a job here.”
McAnally has not filed any legal action against the city, though he did communicate with the city after the hiring was voided, saying he did not agree with the decision. McAnally also communicated that he believes the contract was legal and enforceable.