Marion's city manager: mayor, council members know nothing of internal police investigation

MARION, Iowa (KCRG) -- Marion's City Manager, Lon Pluckhahn, says his city's police department will overcome the resignations of their chief and deputy chief.

The Marion Police Department on Wednesday. Police leaders have met and worked on future police strategies the last two days.

The resignations of Marion's two top cops took place within just a couple weeks of each other.

"The timing of it definitely not ideal," said Pluckhahn.

The resignations also come in the wake of the City hiring a civil rights attorney to investigate a personnel matter within the police department.

Chief Joseph McHale says his resignation is unrelated to that investigation. McHale has told the I9 investigative team he is taking a consulting job in Florida.

It is unclear why Deputy Chief Doug Slagle has resigned. Slagle told I9 on Monday his decision to leave the department was a personal one. He would not elaborate.

I9 reached out to every member of the city council and mayor Nicolas AbouAssaly for comment about the situation but City Manager Lon Pluckhahn is the only member of Marion's government who has responded to I9's requests for interviews.

Pluckhahn says when it comes to the investigation taking place within Marion's police department, city councilors have been kept in the dark. Pluckhahn tells I9 his department handles all personnel matters and does not brief elected officials on the internal investigations their constituents pay for.

"I would hope that they (the public) would realize that anytime you're dealing with a personnel decision in any department that we have a responsibility to make sure that we do it right," said Pluckhahn.

Pluckhahn would not explain the status of the investigation, what is being investigated, or how much it is costing taxpayers.

Pluckhahn says the city has no plans to ever release any of the findings of the internal investigation.