State officials say the Wartburg Police Department has violated the city's nepotism policy by allowing family members to supervise each other. In addition, a BMW seized after a drug arrest was used by the Captain's wife.
According to a release from the state's comptroller, Police Chief Earl Bales, Jr. violated the nepotism policy by directly supervising his son, Captain Dwayne Bales and his wife, who is a reserve officer. In turn, Bates supervises all of the department's full-time and reserve officers in the department, including his wife.
The city's nepotism policy states that "immediate relatives will not be employed in regular full-time or regular part-time positions where one relative would have the authority to directly supervise, appoint, remove, discipline or evaluate the performance of the other."
As for the car, the report found that the BMW, which was sized after a narcotics arrest in June 2011 and then titled to the City of Wartburg, was assigned to Captain Bales' wife. The report found that the car was routinely parked at their home, and was sometimes used for non law enforcement reasons.
Captain Bales told investigators that he was in charge of the seized vehicles, and they were usually sold "promptly." In this case, the BWW wasn't sold until March 2013, a month after the comptroller's investigation began.
His wife said that she "primarily used the vehicle for fundraising events and the purchase of supplies, but did occasionally use the vehicle to commute to her full-time job when she was volunteering her evenings at the Wartburg Police Department." She also said she would "sometimes buy gas for the vehicle from personal funds, or use another officer's Fuelman card for the purchase of fuel."
The comptroller's office recommended that the city should abide by their nepotism policy, and that all vehicles seized during drug activities should only be used for drug enforcement-related activities.