EXCLUSIVE: Former Perryville police chief speaks out about allegations

Exclusive: Former Perryville police chief speaks about criminal charges

PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) - Perryville's former chief of police Keith Tarrillion has strong words as voters head to the polls in what many feel is an important election.

They'll decide how the next police chief will be selected.

Now, former chief Tarrillion responds to new criminal charges against him and what is next for the city he once served.

"I was totally blind-sided," said Tarrillion of last week's arrest.

Now out of jail, he sat down with Holly Brantley and explained his position saying he is not guilty of any of the charges against him.

According to court documents, those charges include theft, forgery and making a false report.

The charges include two felonies in connection with a 2010 incident. Tarrillion says these charges are all connected to the investigation of alleged misconduct that resulted in his resignation. According to Tarrillion, he's says there are inaccuracies in the affidavit and feels it will all come out in court.

"I will not plead guilty to anything because I didn't do anything," said Tarrillion.

"I will take this all the way to a jury trial," he said. "I feel like anybody will lie to an investigator but once you get on a witness stand you're perjury."

Tarrillion resigned his position in March as allegations of misconduct surrounded him.

Now, Tarrillion also has a lot to say about how the next chief will be chosen. The vote Tuesday determines whether that will be something that continues to be left up to the people or appointed by the city.

"I think it's important that the people know the truth," said Tarrillion. "They are the ones that really could lose here. There's another side to this other than the city's side."

"I think it's important for people to realize a lot of the things that happened with me resulted because I stood up for the things I believe in," said Tarrillion. "I did what I felt was right. Am I perfect? No. We're all human. But when I saw things that were wrong I spoke up and some people didn't like that."

Tarrillion made the claims in a letter to Heartland News. During the interview, he told Heartland News it was all part of a fabricated scenario.

In that letter to the news department, Tarrillion speaks specifically on two of what he calls many incidents in which he believes the current city leaders played favorites to get their way.

He says that's why he's urging voters to go to the polls on election day to keep the decision of who is the next chief in the hands of the people.

"They are trying to get rid of people they can't control," said Tarrillion.

Mayor Debbie Gahan and those mentioned in the letter were given an opportunity to read it and respond. Gahan calls the accusations made by Tarrillion a result of a man charged with multiple felonies trying to salvage his reputation in the community. Gahan went on to say on behalf of the city she feels it's ironic Tarrillion sat on information he sent Heartland News in a letter until now. She says the city contends the information is fabricated.

"It is easy for Mr. Tarrillion to make these allegations while the city, at his request, is ordered by the court not to disclose the critical findings of the investigation into his behavior as Chief of Police," Gahan said in a statement to Heartland News. "When that injunction is lifted, we will have a full and final press release on this matter."

Hoeh had the opportunity to read Tarrillion's letter. He says he made all his decisions on his own without the influence of city leaders or Keith Tarrillion.

Meanwhile, as Tarrillion awaits his next court appearance, he says no matter what side voters are on, he encourages the people of Perryville to get out and vote.

"They need to do what they feel is right," said Tarrillion.

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