Barling City Administrator Suspended After Making Threats To City Employees

BARLING (KFSM) -- Barling City Administrator Mike Tanner has been suspended until February when the City Council will revisit if he violated city policy and procedure.

Vice Mayor David Bringham said Friday (Jan. 25) the City Council held a special meeting Thursday (Jan. 24) night to discuss the issue.

The council went into executive session before approving a motion to suspend Tanner with pay. The council will readdress the disciplinary issue on Feb. 13.

Bringham declined further comment.

According to Sergeant Keith Lindley of the Barling Police Department, Tanner is being investigated for making threats to city employees over the last several years.

The most recent threat occurred last Thursday (Jan. 24) when Tanner engaged in a heated exchange with a city employee.

Police say they didn’t believe a crime was committed and that the threats are being investigated internally as possible city policy and procedures violations.

Tanner is on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.

An email sent to Fort Smith Police shows Barling Police requested extra patrols at a Barling City employee’s Fort Smith home. The email also warns officers to be mindful that Tanner has access to several firearms and tannerite.

The email says Tanner has been making threatening statements toward an employee, that have escalated to threats of possible suicide and violence toward that employee.

The city administrator is appointed by the board of directors and is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the city government, according to the city's website.

The administrator provides the link between the elected governing body and the staff of the city’s four departments.  All of the city’s department heads report to the city administrator, the website said.

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