Officials in Mount Gilead this evening (Apr. 16) confirmed police chief Ralph Lee Vieux is no longer working for the town.
The separation came after several days of reports and rumors surrounding a domestic situation involving Vieux and his wife. Published reports say Ralph Vieux has filed for an annulment of their 2014 marriage and that his wife has secured a restraining order against him.
The confirmation of the chief’s departure came at an emergency meeting of town commissioners tonight (Apr. 16). The board also confirmed that one other Mount Gilead police officer is no longer working for the town, but declined to reveal the officer’s identity because employment separation papers had not yet been delivered.
No official reasons were given for the separations, and the town declined to disclose whether they came as the result of firings or resignations.
With a diminished police force, the town was left without enough personnel to cover its law enforcement needs. Montgomery County Sheriff Chris Watkins offered to supply deputies on an interim basis, and commissioners voted unanimously to enter into an agreement with his office.
After Town Manager Katrina Tatum talks with Sheriff Watkins Fri., Apr. 17, it is expected the sheriff’s office will assign deputies for around-the-clock coverage in Mount Gilead. The arrangement will continue as long as necessary, though Watkins said he thinks the town should work to resume its own law enforcement staffing as soon as possible.
The Town of Mount Gilead will compensate the sheriff’s office at a rate of one-and-a-half times the regular salary of the deputies, plus the standard federal reimbursement rate for mileage in the county vehicles, which will be used in their work.
Tatum indicated some of the town’s reserve police officers and some who had resigned earlier may be available for assignment.