UDPATE: Evansdale mayor responds to Smock complaint redactions - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UDPATE: Evansdale mayor responds to Smock complaint redactions

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EVANSDALE (KWWL) -

KWWL has obtained eight pages of complaints against Kent Smock, the former police chief in Evansdale, after submitting an Iowa Open Records Law request.

Read the documents under the Related Stories link. The documents are heavily redacted, and come from his personnel file.

The information comes after KWWL submitted a request under the Iowa Open Records Law. There is information withheld, but the information shows at least seven officers in Evansdale signed their names to a complaint about Kent Smock's behavior, in a vote of no-confidence. The officers indicate that they believe Smock lacked, "honesty, integrity and respect for police employees of the city of Evansdale."

The officers also accuse Smock of creating a hostile work environment, and raised questions about his relationship with another, unnamed person. At one point, an officer wrote that an "employee was actually fearful that this situation was going to turn into one where weapons might be used since we all come to work armed."

Smock had been with the Evansdale Police Department since 2012, and was a key investigator in the abduction and murder case of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins.

He was fired from the department in a closed city council meeting on April 14.

Evansdale mayor Doug Faas said he won't comment if the city believes any prosecutable misconduct occurred.

Smock's firing came after he was put on a 'mutually agreed upon vacation' for several weeks. City officials have consistently declined to call it a suspension. It began around the same time the officers filed their complaints.

KWWL asked if the vacation was attempt to protect Smock, and keep any controversy quiet.

"It wasn't to try and keep thing quiet," said Faas. "At that time Chief Smock had over six weeks of vacation, and we had a discussion with him and he agreed he need some vacation time."

"This complaint had nothing to do with the decision to go on vacation?" asked KWWL's Michael Crowe.

"I can not say that," Faas said.

Faas said it's a delicate balance in redacting the documents, keeping both individual privacy and the public's right to know in mind.

"I think these redacted letters tell enough of the story without causing unnecessary harm to the reputation of someone who is peripherally involved with this," Faas said. "I believe that have enough information to make their own decisions."

The city of Evansdale is represented by Waterloo attorney Mike Young, who assisted in redacting the documents. He cited section 21.11 of the Iowa Code Open Records to justify the edits, which reads, "Personal information in confidential personnel records of government bodies relating to identified or identifiable individuals who are officials, officers, or employees of the government bodies. However, the following information relating to such individuals contained in personnel records shall be public records."

Jeff Jensen is the acting chief of the Evansdale Police Department.

Michael Crowe contributed to this story.

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