Another city of Asheville employee has lost his job following a police beating scandal.
Asheville Police Capt. Stony Gonce received a letter dated May 1 from Chief Tammy Hooper terminating his employment. In the letter, Hooper says that the city hired an independent third-party investigator in December to look into complaints about Gonce’s workplace conduct. According to Hooper, the investigator found “clear evidence” of violations of the city’s workplace harassment policy.
The letter details other violations of city policy, including a pattern of intimidating conduct and untruthful statements.
Hooper goes on to assert that Gonce interfered in a criminal investigation of former APD officer Chris Hickman in the beating of Asheville resident Johnnie Rush. The lieutenant assigned to the investigation, Hooper writes, reported that Gonce pressured the officer to write a memo containing statements the officer felt were untrue. Gonce also told the lieutenant he was commanding him to write the memo under “direct order as his captain.”
Hooper notes that Gonce previously was disciplined for insubordination and improper conduct toward supervisors and subordinates for actions on Nov. 1. The Asheville Citizen Times reported that Gonce was placed on administrative suspension on March 2.
Former city manager Gary Jackson and Hickman also lost their jobs after leaked video of the beating touched off public outcry about police conduct in the incident and the city’s response to it.
Editor’s note: The document below was obtained via the Sunshine Request website.