The City of Dothan Personnel Board upheld the termination of a former captain with the Dothan Police Department on Monday during a unanimous vote.
Barbara Spann, the chairperson of the Dothan City Personnel Board, confirmed the board’s decision to unanimously uphold the termination of Ivan Keith Gray from serving with the Dothan Police Department.
Gray, a 28-year veteran of the Dothan Police Department, was fired by Police Chief Greg Benton in September after spending about a month on suspension. Gray last served as a police captain.
Gray, through his Birmingham attorney Sonya Edwards, appealed his termination to the city personnel board, and they held a day-long evidentiary hearing in November.
Edwards said they completely disagreed with the board’s decision, calling it a “travesty of justice.” Edwards also said her client plans to appeal the board’s decision to Houston County Circuit Court.
‘I certainly believe this was a witch hunt from the beginning,” Edwards said.
Gray said he still believes he did nothing wrong to deserve his termination.
“I’m going to continue to stand up for myself and the people of Dothan,” Gray said. “I am proud of who I am. I am not ashamed of anything because I’ve done nothing wrong.”
Benton called the personnel board’s ruling a just decision.
“If he hadn’t done anything wrong he’d still have a job today,” Benton said.
While also serving as a police officer, Gray formerly ran a local polygraph business, which he said Monday is no longer in operation. Gray said he had no major future plans, only to “follow where the Lord leads him.”
“I’m going to continue to look for good things from Bama Boyz,” Gray said.
It was that involvement with the Bama Boyz motorcycle club that led to Gray’s termination.
During the hearing before the board Benton said he ordered an inquiry by internal affairs because Gray’s name came up in connection to the investigation of a felony assault at a local motorcycle club. Benton also said Gray’s name came up as a known associate of the outlaw motorcycle gang called Outcast.
The city never alleged Gray ever violated any laws that led to criminal charges.
Gray told the board during the hearing he went to Bessemer to talk with a member of Outcast, but never thought about them as being engaged in any criminal activity. Gray said he’s only had minimal contact with Outcast by asking to coexist with them in Alabama.
Gray is a member of Bama Boyz, which is a local motorcycle club.
Delvick McKay, the city’s personnel director, outlined the city’s grounds for terminating Gray at the hearing, which included conduct unbecoming of an officer, membership of organizations, electronic messaging, truthfulness and a code of ethics violation dubbed ‘private life.’
McKay said the charges stemmed from police responding to an assault call at the “Outcast Motorcycle Club” located at 414 N. Appletree St. in late August. Police charged eight men with felony assault from a fight at the clubhouse that night. Benton said Gray was not at the clubhouse on the night of the assault.
McKay said the grounds for Gray’s termination also involved the inappropriate viewing of a pornographic website with the department-issued cell phone, along with using a departmental computer programs for personal use.
Gray testified at the hearing he believed someone him up in regard to the pornography violation.