MCCALL -- McCall's Chief of Police is off the job and city officials are not saying why.
The Star-News first reported Jerry Summers' suspension last week, but he himself, along with city officials in McCall refuse to confirm the news or give a reason behind it.
After several days of phone calls to City Manager Gene Drabinski, we finally heard back from him late Tuesday afternoon. He did tell us by phone he took confidential, personnel action against the police chief but would not say anything more about why or when Jerry Summers could be back on the job.
"We haven't heard anything," said McCall resident, Suzi Meuser. "They are keeping it hush-hush, and we would like to know if it is affecting the community."
"The one thing we are worried about is that we haven't heard why, and it is very hush-hush," said Nicole Youkstetter, another McCall resident.
Like many living in McCall, KTVB also wanted to know more about if Police Chief Jerry Summers was suspended and why.
The McCall Police Department had a sign that said "closed" and the door was locked Tuesday. When our KTVB crew finally tracked down Summers himself at his home, he said he couldn't confirm his own suspension. Summers' attorney would not confirm any information about the case either.
Both the mayor and the city manager referred us to the local newspaper, which reported that Summers was in fact suspended.
The city manager told us by phone that Chief Summers is getting paid, but he can give no details as to why he took action against him.
We do know that the city recently designed an online poll to get the public's opinion of the McCall police department.
Youkstetter was one of 400 who participated. "There is a concern about how much people get pulled over, both local residents and guests," said Youkstetter.
But many living in McCall say they're frustrated that they don't know more about why the city took action against their police chief.
"I hope the public is informed so we can be part of the solution, so this doesn't happen again since this is the second police chief in so many years," said Meuser.
This is not the first time there has been an issue with a McCall police chief. In July of 2005, former Chief Ralph Appa resigned after allegations that he and two other officers mishandled evidence. Summers took over as chief at that time.
The city manager did confirm that the action taken against Summers does not involve any criminal charges. We're told more information will be released in about ten days.
The McCall City Council has a regularly scheduled meeting Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at McCall City Hall.