An East Texas community finds out their new police chief, on the job for just five days, has a quite a history. A past so questionableb they felt he had to be fired. The city of New Summerfield, in Cherokee county found out their new chief is currently under investigation in another county. Journeyman officer Michael Meissner was fired, Sunday, as chief from the New Summerfield police department.
According to the Texas commission on law enforcement, Meissner had held 16 law enforcement jobs with 12 different organizations over a 13 year career. He was arrested in Tarrant county in 2005 on tampering with a witness charges. That same year he was charged in Smith county with impersonating a police officer and operating a security company without a license. His master peace officer certificate stripped for claiming he earned it at Lasalle university in Louisiana, where T-cleose agents say diploma's are bought.
"I did not know he was fired, well I don't understand why they didn't check him out before they hired him" said area resident Glenda Bannister.
" Mr Meissner was dismissed based upon negative information from t-cleose, Texas commission on law enforcement officers standards and education and a web site created in his name from somebody that obviously doesn't like Mr Meissner" said New Summerfield mayor Dan Stallings.
"I would question anybody who has that kind of background, I can tell you that a person that has a history of jumping from department to department in within a year or less is a person to be concerned about" said James Heironimous of the Texas commission on law enforcement in Austin.
"Where there's smoke there's fire, there are people out there that you can't trust in this business and from our position we'd like to weed those people out" he said.
New Summerfield's mayor says he did check Meissner out, before hiring him.
"I interviewed 4 or 5 maybe 6 of his former employers. Every one of them spoke highly of him. Very efficient officer" said Stallings.
Stallings was unaware of meissner's work history, but said that he wouldn't have judged him on the number of jobs worked. Now the town is, again, looking for a police chief, and a state agency is warning other small cities to be more careful.
"Well I would tell any other department that Mr Meissner applies to that they certainly should do a background investigation" said Heironimous.
Meissner still retains his advanced peace officer's certification. He has not been convicted on any charges, though one investigation remains open. He could not be found for comment.