SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Wrong one fired!
By Hugh T. Wilson Jr.


July 19, 2010

I was a State Certified Police Officer for the town of Metlakatla for approximately 5 years. I served the people of the community of Metlakatla to the best of my ability and I never complained. I was fired June 9, 2010 by Chief of Police Nick Yliniemi in the driveway of my home for reasons I'm still trying to figure out. Now after overcoming adversity, working hard and putting the people that deserved it behind bars, I now have to figure out how I'm supposed to support and take care of my family of 4 with one (maybe 2) on the way.

I was told I was fired due to members of the community complaining as well as councilmen complaining. Well what were the complaints?! These are answers I still have not received. Per the Metlakatla Indian Community Policy and Procedures Manual I am supposed to receive from the Chief of Police a detailed letter stating exactly why I was dismissed. I have not received any such letter and it is too little too late for them to comply with their own policy and procedures.

While on duty I responded to a call of domestic violence involving a Metlakatla Police Officer and his wife. Due to the fact that I saw obvious signs that a crime had occurred (injuries and blood) I called the Chief of Police to investigate because I felt it was a personnel issue. And to my surprise the whole event was swept under the rug of "nepotism" due to an obvious fact that I think they all can figure out.

I was also contacted by a 20 year old female who had informed me that a Metlakatla Police Officer was sending her text messages trying to invite her up to his house to drink alcohol with him and other people who were there. I brought this information to the Chief of Police and once again to my surprise absolutely nothing happened. How can a Police Officer inviting an underage female to his house to consume alcohol go without punishment?

The Chief of Police of a Police department is supposed to be the foundation of the entire department. The Metlakatla Police Department does not have a foundation what -so-ever. The Chief of Police of MPD is a 'yes' man and exactly what the leaders of the community want. The people of this community deserve to know the whole story and everything that their Police Department is about. I had concrete evidence that wrong doing had occurred and this is what happens. For some time now Chief Yliniemi has disregarded many attempts by all of the officer's as well as the dispatchers to make changes to better the Metlakatla Police Department with absolutely no results. The excuse that was always given was that," there isn't any money." Well, then why doesn't he do what he has to do to get the money? There is absolutely no excuse for the conditions that are put upon the officer's at MPD. Certain officer's can't even get new uniforms because there is "no money" so that tells the public that there Police Department doesn't care how they look. The only administrative person in the Police Department that has made any attempt to better the Police Department is Sgt. Bruce Janes.

I am not in anyway trying to get anyone in trouble at all but, I did my job, I worked hard, I didn't get highly intoxicated every night just minutes after my shift ended, I responded to every call-out without question, I'm not 200lbs over weight, I responded to every single call without hesitation, I patrolled an average of 130 miles every 8 hour shift and I get fired based on what? Rumor and speculation? Did I arrest the wrong person? Did I irritate someone off by arresting them for breaking a law? Did I arrest someone's son or daughter for breaking an obvious law and make them mad? No one even talked to me about anything that was going on. For everything I did I got the axe.

I was contacted by a Unemployment Insurance Investigator from the State of Alaska and she told me that the statement she received from my ex-employer (The Metlakatla Indian Community/Metlakatla Police Department) went as follows," No one believed the allegations against Hugh, he was fired because he arrested a councilman's nephew and that councilman ordered that he be terminated because he is an at-will employee." Now, does anything about that sound right in any way?

I am not trying/ nor would I ever want my job back. I am moving my family out of this town and away from all the liars, corrupt politicians and back stabbers before the year is over. I really enjoyed living in Metlakatla and I thought it would be a great place to raise my family but I was extremely wrong. It is too late for them to follow up on any of their "Policy and Procedures". I am pursuing legal action and I will fight this to the end.

In closing there is a lot more going on at the Metlakatla Police Department that can be backed up with factual evidence as well as eye witness testimonies. The truth of the matter is the leaders of the Community of Metlakatla only want what's best for them. They are only looking out for themselves and do not have the community's best interest at heart. The wrong person/people got fired!

This letter was sent to Chief of Police Nick Yliniemi, Mayor Art Fawcett, and Law and Order Chairman Sol Atkinson on July 6, 2010.

Hugh T. Wilson Jr.
Metlakatla, AK


Received July 19, 2010 - Published July 19, 2010



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