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Millersville Police Chief named in bullying lawsuit resigns

Dustin Carr
Posted at 3:46 PM, Dec 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-12 19:36:30-05

MILLERSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Millersville City Manager Scott Avery confirmed that Police Chief Dustin Carr turned in his letter of resignation Monday morning.

Carr first took the position after former Police Chief Mark Palmer announced his retirement in February.

Both men have been at the center of allegations of bullying and intimidation that eventually led to former officers filing this lawsuit in 2021.

Carr, Palmer and the City of Millersville were all named as co-defendants in the lawsuit that alleged a conspiracy to cover up systemic racism and wrongdoing by other officers.

In the 28-page document, former Millersville Police Officer Robert Black and former Sergeant Josh Barnes detailed numerous times when officers and Palmer routinely used the n-word.

The word was allegedly used in front of Barnes who is Black and Robert who has a biracial son.

Robert also added that the department was attempting to conceal that TBI was investigating then-Assistant Chief Carr for domestic violence.

A man who we believe to be Palmer was recorded allegedly trying to convince officers to back Carr and keep quiet when TBI asked about the allegations.

Carr was not placed on leave during the investigation by TBI. The findings were turned over to the Robertson County District Attorney’s office, but it’s unclear what the findings were or if the DA’s office intends to file charges.

City Manager Avery says he doesn't know if the allegations against Carr had anything to do with why he is stepping down. Avery says he only knows Carr had “personal concerns” to sort through.

Avery sent a statement Monday evening that reads, "Chief Carr felt it was a good time to seek an opportunity that will allow him to spend more time with his family, especially his children. We wish Chief Carr all of the best in his new endeavor and look forward to continuing to move the City of Millersville and especially the Police Department forward into the future."

Carr’s departure now adds to a list of city officials leaving Millersville, including former Mayor Tim Lassiter, who stepped down in April.

Lassiter told us then: “I’ve got a lot of stuff going on in my life. I’ve been doing that for a long time. What’s best for me and my wife is the main reason.”

Former City Manager Steve Collie also told staff, one week prior, about his intentions to leave for another job opportunity. Collie had been in office for just over a year at that point.

Collie and Lassiter were adamant that one decision had nothing to do with the other or any litigation.

Avery says he’s now working on naming an interim police chief, before expanding to a nationwide search for a permanent replacement.