HARRISBURG, Ark. — Harrisburg is looking for a new chief of police after a dispute between the former top officer and the town’s mayor.
Gary Hefner had recently been demoted from chief to patrolman. He was officially let go from the department Monday morning following alleged explicit screen shots of text conversations and X-rated videos and images.
Mayor Randy Mills says the former chief sent sexual text messages from his city-owned phone. He believes at least some of those images may have been sent to his phone by others or added by someone later.
On June 1, the Mayor told WREG Hefner had been demoted for repeated “disrespectful behavior.”
“In open meetings he was very disrespectful,” Mills said.
Hefner admitted to acting out in city council meetings but said the two just didn’t see eye to eye.
“He (The Mayor) got very angry, slapped his hand down on the table, pointed his finger and said, ‘Chief, you’re on thin ice,” Hefner said.
Hefner also admitted to sending nude photos from his work phone. But says there are other videos and photos being circulated around town with him and another woman. He says those are fake.
“I had the people come in and talk to the mayor. She said she had never sent me anything. I never send her anything.”
He believes people he arrested in the past, may have set him up.
Hefner says he apologizes for letting the town down, but the only photos he sent were between him and his wife.
“I’m just going to be completely blunt and honest about it. My wife sent me a nude picture on the phone, and I sent her one on the phone. It was nobody else involved – just me and my wife,” Hefner said.
“That’s in violation of city policy,” Mills said.
At some point, Mills said, Hefner reset his phone, deleting the conversations.
“That’s destroying evidence.”
Meanwhile, Hefner said he only wiped the phone, because he didn’t want anyone seeing his wife’s nudes.
“It was not even a mistake. It was just silly for that to happen between me and my wife on my city phone.”
Mills said Hefner was given the option to resign or face termination.
However, Hefner says that didn’t happen either.
“He told me to get all of my stuff and go home. He’s saying I resigned, but I didn’t.”
Hefner says he never signed a resignation letter.
The former chief worked for the police department for almost 30 years and was the chief of police for eight years.