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Pilot Point Police chief resigns

Pilot Point Police chief resigns

By Abigail Allen

Editor & Publisher

       Chief Rex Marks resigned from the Pilot Point Police Department on Monday, effective immediately.

       The city announced his resignation and that Chief Jeff Gibson, the police chief in Murphy, would be the temporary interim chief.

       “He’s not going to be now,” City Manager Britt Lusk said Tuesday. “His current city has … received [calls] from both Gunter and Pilot Point citizens and have made it to where he’s no longer available to us.”

       Gibson, who was previously chief in Gunter, had worked with Pilot Point before Marks' appointment after Tim Conner resigned from the post.

       “He was the consultant we hired to help … at the time Cpl. [Preston] Green and at the time Cpl. [Joseph] Nunez,” Lusk said.

       That left Pilot Point without a temporary interim for the time being, Lusk said.

       “I’m last-minute trying to figure something out,” he said. “It’s going to cost the city more now. I don’t know how much more it’s going to cost … because now we’re going to have to go through a placement agency.”

Pilot Point Police chief resigns

       There is no timeline yet for finding a permanent replacement for Marks.

       Lusk also spoke to why Green was not chosen as temporary interim chief.

       “[Green] is on family leave right now,” Lusk said on Tuesday. “And I think to move our department forward, it’s best to hire an interim. That’s nothing against Sgt. Green. It’s just we need to move the department forward in a different manner.”

       The Pilot Point Police Department was an opening concern for the city council at its April 25 meeting.

       Mayor Elisa Beasley started the conversation about the police department with a statement of disappointment.

       “We have a big problem that we need to fix fast,” Beasley said.

       In light of the misleading information Chief Rex Marks provided during his department evaluation and alongside several community members both at the prior meeting and on April 25, Beasley expressed a flat negative opinion regarding the chief’s position with the city.

       “All we have to rely on is information given to us by our staff, and we have to make sound decisions based off that,” Beasley said. “When that information is so off, I think we have a leadership problem.”

       At the meeting, City Manager Britt Lusk continued to defend Marks, saying the issue was a culture problem that he inherited and hadn’t yet corrected.

       He added that he put the focus on having Marks “put Pilot Point on the map … as one of the best managed cities.”

       “Between supervising, working with department heads and going to those [conferences], I don’t think he spent enough time [building culture at the department], Lusk said. 

Pilot Point Police chief resigns

       “I take that one on the chin,” Lusk said. “That was my leadership. I wanted chief headed down that way when that wasn’t what we needed at the time.”

       Beasley requested a discussion regarding Marks be added to the executive session. When the council returned, however, they took no action about the police department.

       Lusk said he was made aware of Marks’ intention to resign on Monday “just prior” to receiving his resignation.

       At press time, neither Marks’ resignation letter nor any severance agreement were released by the city.

      Staff Writer Basil Gist contributed to this report.


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