Convicted HPD Officer Ben Darby placed on paid administrative leave

Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A Huntsville Police officer convicted of murder last week has been placed on paid administrative leave.

A Madison County jury found Huntsville Police Officer William Darby guilty of murder on Friday. News 19 reached out to the City for clarification on Darby’s employment after the conviction.

“Due to Mr. Darby’s conviction, he cannot continue as a police officer. William Darby was placed on paid administrative leave today, May 10. This is the normal process until formal proceedings under the City of Huntsville’s personnel policies and procedures are complete,” said City of Huntsville spokesperson Lucy DeButy.

Darby was convicted of killing Jeffery Parker, 49, at his home on Deramus Avenue in April 2018.

Darby remained on duty with the Huntsville Police Department while awaiting trial but was on administrative duty. The city paid a portion of his legal fees in the case.

News 19 also asked the City of Huntsville just how much of the $125,000 that was committed to Darby’s defense was spent and was told the City’s legal department is working to determine that cost at this time.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy battle criticized the verdict Friday and pointed out Darby’s right to appeal that verdict.

News 19 asked the city whether it’s planning to request additional money to fund Darby’s appeal process.

DeButy said the city has not made any decision on the issue, and that there’s no information at this time about requests for additional money to be spent on Darby’s legal defense.

The Huntsville City Council meets Thursday, so the issue may come up then.

A City of Huntsville personnel policy manual mentions disciplinary action is to be taken when an employee is convicted of a felony. The city has not responded to our questions regarding the time frame for the disciplinary action process, nor what that process looks like.

It remains unclear how long Darby will remain on the city’s payroll.

Darby is due back to be sentenced in about six weeks.

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