[Updated] Purcellville’ Interim Town Manager Alex Vanegas announced today that Police Chief Cynthia McAlister has been fired, effective immediately.
According to a statement from the town, the decision “was based on the results of a thorough investigation after several departmental employees brought forth allegations of the chief violating several town policies, procedures and police department general orders.”
Vanegas said the investigation began August 28.
In as statement released Friday afternoon, the town detailed the nature of McAlister’s alleged offenses, all of which were “substantiated” during the investigation. Those were: acting outside of the scope as chief of police; selective enforcement; violation of General Orders concerning internal affairs investigations; violation of General Orders; employee intimidation; untruthfulness; and violation of town and police procedural policies.
The termination announcement followed last night’s special Town Council meeting during which its adopted a unanimous vote of “no confidence” in McAlister. Mayor Kwasi Fraser said last night that seven officers had filed formal complaints against the chief.
“One of the highest priorities for the town council, and for myself as mayor, is to ensure that Purcellville’s officers and citizens can trust that our police leadership is being completely transparent,” he said. “Our response to the briefing by [Vanegas] can lead to reform and to rebuild community-police trust.”
McAlister was not present at Wednesday night’s meeting. Efforts to reach her for comment have been unsuccessful. She had been on leave for more than a month.
Lt. Joe Schroeck has been serving as the acting chief of police and will continue in that role. Vanegas said Schroek would remain there, “until such time as a permanent chief can be appointed.”