Barling City Administrator Suspended Without Pay For DUI Arrest

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BARLING (KFSM) -- On Thursday (July 28) the City of Barling announced that city administrator Mike Tanner had been suspended from his position for two weeks without pay.

"The Barling Board of Directors put City Administrator Michael Tanner on administrative leave without pay for two weeks during an executive session. On March 2, 2015 Mr. Tanner was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, transporting a loaded firearm while under the influence of alcohol and transporting a loaded firearm. He was booked in at Leflore County," the statement read.

According to the arrest report, Tanner was pulled over in Leflore County in March 2015. The report states Tanner failed a field sobriety test and crossed left of center in his vehicle. The report also states three firearms were located in his vehicle, one of which was loaded.

The Mayor of Barling, Jerry Barling said Tanner announced his arrest during a city council meeting this week but it was not brought before the board before then.

"In this case it should have been notified," Barling said. "I think it was a policy that nobody was aware of until another instance came up and they found out about it. Then, so that's why it was corrected at that time."

According to Barling city officials, Tanner was disciplined for failure to report the arrest immediately.

The Barling fire chief Lewis Haggard, was arrested several weeks before, also for a DUI. He was suspended without pay. City leaders said they will revisit his position once his trial for the matter is through the court system.

Tanner released this statement:

"I accept this disciplinary action and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. I am accountable for my professional and personal life as any public official should be. The City of Barling will continue to grow and I am looking forward to being a part of Barling's future. I want to thank the Board of Directors and Mayor Barling for their patience and understanding in this matter."

According to Barling city leaders Tanner pleaded no contest to the DUI charge and the transporting a loaded firearm while under the influence was dismissed.