116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
EVANSDALE — Heavily redacted letters to the Evansdale mayor and City Council show former police chief Kent Smock, who was fired earlier this month, lost the confidence of at least seven of his officers.
In a letter dated Feb. 27 and addressed to Evansdale Mayor Doug Faas, seven officers — whose names have been redacted — said Smock had 'created a hostile work environment' and 'can no longer effectively lead this department.'
'The notion that the council is considering allowing him to return to a position where he is required to carry a weapon daily causes us great concern,' the letter reads.
The city of Evansdale provided six redacted letters to media outlets. Each letter expresses concerns with Smock's leadership at the police department and calls into question his character and integrity.
Earlier this month, the Evansdale City Council voted to terminate Smock after three years with the city. At the time of his dismissal, Smock had been on leave from the city for eight weeks at the request of the City Council.
Citing personnel issues, city leaders have not disclosed what led to Smock's dismissal. However, the letters appear to indicate Smock had lost the faith of some of his officers.
'Without trust, you lose respect and without respect, you can no longer be an effective leader,' a letter from an officer dated March 5 reads.
On Tuesday, Faas said the letters were part of 'numerous discussions' city leaders had about Smock.
'We had some open records, we had three closed meetings,' Faas said. 'They were just part of the discussions.'
One letter, also dated March 5, references rumors involving Smock and an individual whose name was redacted from the letter. The letter also states an unidentified employee was 'fearful' the situation was 'going to turn into one where weapons might be used since we all come to work armed.'
The letters contain multiple references to some form of inappropriate relationship between Smock and another individual.
'(Smock) said that there was nothing to be concerned about and that (redacted) were just friends and had become close because (redacted),' a letter reads.
Another letter states Smock furthered his relationship with someone 'by using his position as the Chief of Police.'
An undated letter references 'speculation within the department concerning the relationship between Chief Smock and (redacted),' and continues with five paragraphs that are fully redacted.
'This matter calls into question Smocks (sic) moral character, judgment and ability to lead,' the letter concludes.
Faas said Tuesday that Sgt. Jeff Jensen has been appointed interim chief of the department.
'We're going to stay in that position for a while,' he said.