Dixon Police Chief Fired: “Jon Cox no longer works for the City of Dixon,” City Manager Jim Lindley

In those terse words Tuesday afternoon Dixon City Manager Jim Lindley confirmed the buzz which started just 24 hours before – popular Dixon Police Chief Jon Cox had been fired effective immediately on this past Monday, October 19.
Hints about the action started when Lindley was seen walking into the Police Station and, shortly thereafter, Cox was seen leaving the station in his uniform but with his badge removed. An attempt to reach Cox on his city provided cell phone Tuesday morning resulted in a message that the number had been disconnected.
An email was then sent to Lindley asking what had happened at the station Monday between him and Cox. The email had not been answered by mid-afternoon, so and attempt was made to call Cox at the Police Station and the Independent Voice publisher was told Cox was in a meeting with Lindley at City Hall.
Lindley did send out an email to city staff announcing his termination of Cox, which also became a source for the initial buzz around town.
Subsequently Lindley was called at City Hall and asked to confirm rumors Cox had been fired. Lindley stated it was true: “Jon Cox no longer works for the City of Dixon.” Lindley said he could not go into details to protect Cox’s rights.
Lindley was also asked about rumors as to who would serve in the interim while the city searched for a new Chief. He remarked the matter was being reviewed but had not been determined while it was likely one of the department’s lieutenants – Ron Willingmyre or Tom Cordova – will serve temporarily as acting chief while the City searches for an interim. An interim Police Chief would then serve until a permanent chief is hired.
Lindley asserted the City Council was not involved in the matter, and that the police chief is an “at will” employee who serves at the pleasure of the City Manager – who has the authority to hire and fire any city employee.
However, there is some question if the Dixon Municipal Code states the Manager has that authority in the case of department heads or if actions for those positions are subject to ratification by the City Council.
Reviewing City Council Agendas back through this past April, while there are numerous references to “potential litigation” to be considered in Closed Session there is no reference to a personnel discipline or dismissal. Normally an employee has the right to challenge any discipline. There were also no reports of any action on the matter upon the council coming out of a closed session.
Cox has reportedly hired an attorney – which could possibly be to challenge his dismissal, but may be for another purpose.
During his tenure Cox became quite popular in the community and was active promoting youth activities including the Teen Center, and established an anti-graffiti program.

Comments are closed.