GRAND SALINE - The Grand Saline city council has decided to accept applications for its next police chief. This was the first meeting since the former police chief, Justin Collins, resigned after admitting to misusing city funds. The meeting, Tuesday, started at 6:45 in the evening. There was talk from the public, suggesting to give the position to the standing police chief, Jason Burns.
When city officials started to discuss how to bring in a new chief, council members held a executive meeting. The public wasn't allowed to be around during the executive meeting and it lasted for two hours. The meeting was adjourned at 10:59. Mayor Casey Jordan told CBS 19 the city will officially take applications.
The police chief position has been an issue within the police department since July. Justin Collins held the position for three years. When he resigned, he turned himself in and was booked at the Van Zandt county jail. Court documents showcased city money was used to pay for unauthorized meals multiple times. Records show more than $100 but less than $750 was spent. CBS 19 reached out the city's attorney, Joel Elliot, who said the situation didn't tarnish the department's image too much.
"It doesn't look good but the police department is going to learn from this and move forward," Elliot said.
Collins, who's no longer on the city's payroll, chose to speak out on Facebook. The former police chief said it was a poor decision and apologized. Collins said in part:
"I must be held accountable for my actions so I will be entering a guilty plea to this charge as soon as possible."
Collins has since, posted a thousand dollar bond.
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