MONTEVALLO Council fires city police sergeant:

Suspended Montevallo Police Sgt. Hardy Cook was fired Wednesday in a unanimous vote of the Montevallo City Council. Cook has not been publicly accused of any wrongdoing.

Mayor Sharon Anderson, the City Council and Public Safety Director Tom Smitherman have kept a tight lid on an internal investigation of the Police Department that began in November

Cook and Chief Steve Southerland were suspended with pay Nov. 10. Southerland later resigned. Cook asked for a hearing with the City Council.

Before the council went into an optional closed-door session, Cook said he had been told he could not bring a lawyer.

When the specially called council meeting reconvened, the council voted 5-0, without discussion, on a motion by Dana Byrd and seconded by Willie Goldsmith to fire Cook. Anderson did not vote. She and council members left City Hall immediately after adjourning. Attorney Frank C. ``Butch" Ellis Jr., who is advising city officials on the internal investigation, said Cook's only recourse is through the courts.


Nancy Wilstach --

from the  Birmingham News Jan. 5, 2005