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Civil Service Board Upholds Muscle Shoals Police Officer’s Firing

MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WHNT) – A Civil Service Board has voted to uphold the termination of a local police officer.

The hearing for Greg Scoggins was held Tuesday.  It started off with a heated discussion between attorneys.

Scoggins’ lawyers asked for the meeting to be continued.  They have argued him being fired from the Muscle Shoals Police Department is too severe for his actions.

Scoggins was the first to testify.  The Muscle Shoals attorney grilled Scoggins for nearly 20 minutes.  However Scoggins’ attorneys objected to dozens of the questions, stating Scoggins’ fifth amendment right to protect himself from self incrimination.  Scoggins is accused of shooting a deer from his patrol car while on duty.  The deer, a buck, was on TVA property.

The Civil Service Board voted around 4:30 p.m. to uphold Scoggins’ firing.

During the hearing, an employee from the Muscle Shoals water treatment plant also testified.  According to the witness, he called police when he heard a gun shot.  The worker says he saw Scoggins move his patrol car, so it couldn’t be seen from the street, then drag the deer behind trees.

Scoggins’ attorneys filed several motions to dismiss the hearing because they claim the Civil Service Board was prejudiced.

After the hearing, Scoggins’ attorneys told WHNT News 19, they are “saddened but excited” about the ruling.  According to attorney Johnnie Franks, she and Billy Underwood plan to sue the City of Muscle Shoals for violating open meeting laws.  Franks says the civil service board voted on Scoggins’ fate before announcing it to the public, which is illegal.

“They are not allowed to go into executive session and make any voting whatsoever and each one of them affirmed their vote in the public meeting was the exact same in executive session,” said attorney Johnnie Franks.

Scoggins is charged with hunting without permission, hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle, and reckless endangerment.  He is scheduled to appear before a judge on February 5 for the charges.

Read more coverage of this story on WHNT.com.