by Ivan Foley
A matter is moving forward with allegations that could result in the peace officer license of the Ferrelview police chief being suspended or revoked.
The Administrative Hearing Commission of the State of Missouri will hear a case against Daniel Clayton on Feb. 6. If the commission finds “cause” for the allegations, the matter is then advanced to the Missouri Director of the Department of Public Safety for a decision on whether to suspend or revoke Clayton’s license as a police officer.
Ryan McCarty, an assistant in the office of Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, told The Landmark Clayton’s appearance before the administrative commission is a process similar to a preliminary hearing. McCarty stressed the attorney general’s office “is not like a prosecutor’s office in this situation. We have no agenda, we just present the case.”
McCarty added the attorney general’s position in these cases is to defer to the director of public safety, who will make the call on any disciplinary action against Clayton’s licensing.
McCarty said in dealing with a police officer’s license, the Peace Officer Standards and Training Program (POST) gathers all reports and all evidence.
“The POST makes a recommendation to us and we go from there,” McCarty said.
Allegations against Clayton spelled out in the petition include:
•On Oct. 25, 2015 in Ferrelview, Clayton was witnessed by multiple bystanders assaulting a 16-year-old male. “Specifically, he was observed handcuffing the juvenile and forcibly pushing the boy against his patrol vehicle in an unnecessary show of force. All the while, it is alleged Clayton was screaming profanities, telling the boy to “shut the f— up” and his mother to “get your ass back in the f------ house.”
•During that same encounter, it is alleged Clayton retrieved a 14-year-old female from the house where the boy and his mother resided. Clayton was allegedly heard being verbally and physically abusive. He told the girl to “get in the f------ car” and allegedly shoved her with unnecessary force into the back seat of his patrol car.
•In a separate incident on Nov. 14, 2015, Clayton was allegedly observed using unnecessary force to remove a female from her vehicle. Allegedly without probable cause or reasonable suspicion he pulled over a woman and her then-juvenile daughter and began interrogating them both in an aggressive and belligerent manner, threatening to tase them and ‘make (their) life hell.’
After allegedly restraining the woman in handcuffs for no stated reason, it is alleged Clayton began a sexually aggressive pat down of the woman. It is alleged he shook the strap of her undergarment “so very violently that her breasts came out,” according to the petition. It is alleged Clayton “unnecessarily placed his hands up her shirt to run the underside of her breasts” all the while she was restrained and unable to move.
“He then proceeded to her lower extremities, rubbing his hands all the way up the female’s legs and over her vagina. The female, though handcuffed, squirmed; and (Clayton) threatened to charge her with resisting arrest,” according to the allegations. He allegedly shoved her in the back seat of his car, causing the woman to strike her head. She was taken to jail on a 24-hour hold, charged with “defective equipment.”
•In an incident on April 12, 2016, Clayton conducted a traffic stop on a man for a turn signal violation. Allegedly without probable cause or reasonable suspicion, Clayton had the man step from his vehicle and placed him in handcuffs. Clayton allegedly conducted an unlawful search of the man’s person and vehicle. Finding a firearm for which the man had a valid permit and the existence of which the man had announced at the outset of the stop, Clayton dismantled it in an unsafe manner, it is alleged.
At the conclusion of the stop, Clayton handed the man back the firearm in pieces, and allegedly made a veiled threat to the man to depart Ferrelview and not return. “After letting (the man) depart, (Clayton) stalked him until the man left the area,” it is alleged.
•In an incident on Feb. 24, 2017, Clayton is accused of what amounts to “profiling of two individuals with whom (Clayton) had an ongoing
dispute and effected a blockade of a city road so as to prevent the man and woman from leaving town,” according to the allegations.
“Upon approaching their stopped vehicle, Clayton did not provide any reason for the stop. Rather, he informed them they were trespassing by being in the city, and told them to leave and not return,” it is alleged.
The man had his attorney on the phone as a witness, and at one point during the altercation it is alleged Clayton “grabbed the man’s wrist, holding the phone in a violent and aggressive manner, causing physical pain.”
Recently the chair of the Ferrelview Board of Trustees addressed a letter to Clayton, advising him that the board would hold a special meeting to consider his removal as police chief.
Clayton last week requested--and was granted--an extension of 30 days for that meeting to be held.
In her notice to Clayton, board chair Theresa Wilson cited five reasons his removal was being considered. Those reasons included that Clayton has allegedly offered “to do favors” for board members, that he refused to execute Form 4669 for an abandoned property as required by statute for First Response Towing; that he took a gun from a person in custody who had a valid conceal carry permit in violation of state statute; that he failed to produce a copy of his body camera’s video of a recent board meeting; and alleges he failed to provide information concerning officers’ schedules when requested.
Wilson has said a move to remove Clayton as chief would require four votes of the five member board. Two of the current board members, Phil Gilliam and Diedre Carr, have been supporters of Clayton.
Due to what it says are strapped finances of the village, the board recently voted to reduce Clayton to a maximum of 20 hours per week. He is paid $15 per hour.
The board also recently voted to disband its municipal court, an action that limits the police chief’s enforcement powers to state violations, city officials said.