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Charles Town officer resigns

January 27, 1998

Charles Town officer resigns

`By CLYDE FORD

Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A Charles Town Police officer resigned Sunday after a Civil Service Commission on Friday ordered him reinstated to the police department.

The other police officer ordered reinstated, Ward Sigler, was back in uniform and on duty Monday.

Officer Joe Forman, 26, said he felt he had no choice but to resign despite the fact the Civil Service Commission ruled in his favor on Friday.

"It was a hard decision to make to resign from law enforcement," Forman said Monday. "It was a lifelong career goal of mine.

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"I hope to get back in law enforcement at some point. I felt I had no other choice but to resign from the Charles Town Police Department," Forman said.

Police Chief Mike Aldridge said he had scheduled Forman to work on Sunday. Instead, Forman arrived at the department about 4 p.m. Sunday, turned in his equipment and resigned.

Aldridge had recommended the two be fired after he investigated whether they told the truth at a grievance hearing about whether Sigler was present when the chief yelled at police secretary Valerie Weaver.

Aldridge alleged at the Civil Service Commission hearing last week that the two officers lied under oath that Sigler was one of several people present during the altercation. The officers argued that they did nothing wrong.

The case revolved around whether Sigler was present on Aug. 21 when Aldridge yelled at Weaver. There was no question that the chief and the secretary had a loud disagreement at the police department in front of several witnesses.

But witness accounts varied about when the incident occurred, varying from 7:05 p.m. to 7:25 p.m. Officers also disagreed on when the incident occurred and who was in the room at the time.

The two officers had requested the hearing to appeal their suspensions.

With Sigler back and Lt. Doug Nichols returned to light duty after being off with a back injury, the staffing shortage at the department has been partially alleviated. Another officer remains out with a back injury, Aldridge said.

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