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Wenona gets permanent police chief; administrator faces April trial

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WENONA - Wenona now has a permanent police chief, but the city administrator still is in legal trouble.

The City Council has offered to police chief's job to Tom Martin, who has held the job on an interim basis since former Chief Michael Walters was convicted in 2006 of intimidation of Councilwoman Nancy Salz, who had called for his firing. Walters' conviction was subsequently overturned on appeal.

Salary and benefits still are being negotiated.

The $8,000 spent to on the job search may be partially refunded if he takes the job, the council was told.

City Administrator Bill Simmons faces a jury trial April 20 in Marshall County Circuit Court on a felony charge of official misconduct. He has pleaded not guilty.

He is accused of intervening to try to have a Wenona man's drunken-driving charge reduced to a non-traffic offense that would allow him to keep his driver's license.

Simmons has said the charge was in retaliation for the appellate court reversal of Martin's conviction. State's Attorney Paul Bauer said this week the two cases are "not at all related."

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