Montgomery police chief pressured to step down

March 24, 2011 4:02:23 PM PDT
A long-time police chief in our area is about to step down amid pressure from some city council members who are questioning his job performance. It's a situation that has some residents in the city of Montgomery coming out to show their support for the chief.

The Montgomery police chief's future may be in jeopardy, but this has clearly become an issue that most citizens would rather not get involved in.

Montgomery is small enough that it's no wonder news here travels fast, especially when it centers on a high-profile public figure like the city's embattled police chief. After 14 years on the force, seven of those as chief, Ken Hudgens appears to be on his way out and not by choice.

"I guess they see me as controversial. They want to micromanage the police department and tell me how I can run it. That's not council's function -- to micromanage any department," Chief Hudgens told us over the phone.

Hudgens claims he's being forced out by three city council members -- John Fox, Joe Champagne and Joe Shockley. They claim it's because they want a full-time police chief. Hudgens, who works as a Houston firefighter, is a part-timer.

By phone, City Administrator William Kotlan told us their concerns cut much deeper than that.

"He could be a better steward of taxpayer dollars and I think that he could do a better job of being able to communicate how he's managing those resources to the community and to the city council," Kotlan told us.

As the battle rages on, support for the chief is growing online through social media websites. Still, residents like David Anderson say though it's unfortunate he refuses to take sides.

"I think we're going to go on business as usual. If there's a hiccup for the city police, we have a great sheriff and DPS. They'd be out here," said Anderson.

A special closed session of the Montgomery City Council has been called for 3pm Friday afternoon to discuss Chief Hudgens' future with the city.