Former Plum Grove police chief petitions for back pay after ‘wrongful termination’

John Joslin addresses the Plum Grove City Council on Monday, Aug. 14. He asked for back pay after he claims he was wrongfully terminated.

A former police chief for the City of Plum Grove has filed a petition for back pay after he says he was wrongfully terminated by the city in March 2022. The ex-chief, John Joslin, is accusing the city of firing him to avoid an investigation into missing money from the city’s coffers.

“I understand that four months ago, some of the money that went missing was paid back by the prior mayor,” said Joslin at the Plum Grove City Council meeting on Aug. 14. “I have several documents if anyone wants to see them.”

Speaking directly to the Council in open session, Joslin accused the city secretary, the previous mayor and two former councilmembers as they had access to the missing money.

“I do not know if they did it. Basically, I was wrongly terminated,” he told the Council. He later told Bluebonnet News/El Amanecer that he personally had read one of them their Miranda rights during the criminal investigation.

Joslin is seeking back pay for three months or reinstatement to the position. Joslin has announced his intentions to run against Pct. 6 Constable Zack Harkness in the March 2024 primary election.

Joslin was not the only person seeking public office at the meeting. Janis Holt, who is running against current State Representative Ernest Bailes, was the first to speak.

“My name is Janis Holt and I am from Silsbee, over in Hardin County and I’m just here tonight to introduce myself and to let you know that I am running for State Representative. That will be an election in March 2024. I have been in public service for a very long time. I currently serve on the school board in Silsbee. I am currently the board president,” said Holt.  

After Holt introduced herself, Mayor Mary Arrendell continued to call out the names on the list for public comments. Many of them skipped their turns to speak until Stephanie Denman was called. Denman walked over to the front of the room to present a gift to the city.  

“I am a resident of Plum Grove and recently, you may or may not have noticed, but we haven’t had any rain. It is super-hot. So my husband and I recently took a trip with our kids and we passed through a small town. It reminded me a lot of Plum Grove and they had ‘fire danger’ warning signs. I called Mary and asked her if it’s something we can do and she said absolutely, so I made this,” said Denman.  

The fire danger sign Denman made has five levels of danger, ranging from low to extreme.

Council also voted to grant the new Pizza Hut its permanent occupancy.

Stephanie Denman created this fire danger warning device to help alert residents of Plum Grove to fire risks.
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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.


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