Perryville's former police chief responds to allegations

Perryville's former chief of police, Keith Tarrillion
Perryville's former chief of police, Keith Tarrillion

PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) - Perryville's former chief of police, Keith Tarrillion is responding to allegations made against him.

City leaders released documents detailing accusations against Keith Tarrillion and their investigation.

The city of Perryville hired an investigator - Paul Nenninger - and he looked into accusations detailed in a newly released report.

In it are claims ranging from sexual harassment to misuse of city funds.

Tarrillion says it is all based on rumor and he says it doesn't include statements made in his favor.

"The information in this report are not based on facts and I will not attempt to defend myself against most of these rumors because, even if they were true — and they are not — they have no bearing on my duties or performance as the elected chief of police," Tarillion said in his statement. "The entire 'investigation' was conducted with one outcome in mind, to find reason to remove me from office. Mr. Nenninger simply wrote down rumors and did no investigating. In fact, no statements made by police department personnel in my favor — and there were such statements — but they were not included in the summaries. "

While Tarrillion says he won't defend himself against untrue rumors, in a statement, he says he will answer the charges of sexual discrimination, failure to protect officers and allegations of a falsified report.

From closed-door sessions and a meeting on February 6, city documents tell of a discussion into accusations of unethical behavior and sexual misconduct.

"I did not have any type of relationship with my employees," said Tarrillion. "The review by Mr. Nenninger proved these allegations to be false. I did not allow others to threaten or sexually harass their coworkers, nor did I sexually harass my employees."

In response to claims Tarrillion made threats to another officer and inappropriately handled his department, he says he followed policy.

"I clearly followed the city's policy and procedures in regard to progressive discipline," said Tarrillion.

"I did not promote or refuse to promote anyone on the basis of their gender or any personal relationship with me. The accusation of a back-dated policy is absurd."

Tarrillion goes on to say he did not falsify a report.

"My decision to resign was also influenced by the fact that I feel betrayed by men I considered my best friends, who took statements and actions out of context to make it appear as though I was unfit to serve the people who elected me," Tarrillion said.

Meanwhile in a press release Perryville's mayor calls the information they were presented with difficult, and says leaders have worked to protect the city.

The mayor adds leaders now look forward to rebuilding a stronger department.

City council members accepted Tarrillion's resignation at a recent meeting.

We are told Tarrillion could face criminal charges.

Today through email, Tarrillion told Heartland News he feels let down by the city after 20-years of service with an unblemished record.

He says he never got a chance to defend himself in an interview with city leaders.

"I believe that I was a good chief and did what our community elected me to do." Tarrillion said in his statement. "We worked hard to make sure this is a safe city and that our citizens feel protected and respected. It's been difficult to see the justice system I've spent my whole life working for being used against me this way, but it's time for me and my family to move on. We're incredibly grateful for the support we've received from family, friends and our community. We ask that you continue to keep us in your prayers as we begin to rebuild our lives."

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