Clayton’s hearing postponed

A hearing that could determine the future law enforcement career of former Ferrelview chief of police Daniel Clayton has been postponed until July.

Clayton, who was suspended by the Village of Ferrelview last November, was scheduled to appear before the Administrative Hearing Commission in Jefferson City on Tuesday, Feb. 6. Late last week, the hearing was continued at the request of the Department of Public Safety. The hearing was reset for Thursday, July 26.

In August, a petition was filed with the Missouri Department of Public Safety, alleging Clayton has violated “statutes or regulations governing (his) licensed profession.” If found in violation, Clayton could face penalties or the loss of his peace officer’s license.

The complaint cites four different incidents during Clayton’s approximately two-year tenure with the Ferrelview Police Department. The allegations include excessive use of force and sexual misconduct.

Tara Borron, Derrick Hayes and Robert Rowland — all outspoken critics of Clayton — are named in the complaint, which is seven pages long.

According to the complaint, multiple witnesses observed Clayton assaulting a 16-year-old male in October of 2015. This included handcuffing the boy and “forcibly pushing” him up against a patrol car while shouting profanities at him and his mother.

During the incident in Ferrelview, Clayton allegedly also retrieved a 14-year-old female at the residence while “heard being verbally and physically abusive.”

In a separate 2015 incident, witnesses allegedly observed Clayton pulling over Amy Morgan and her then-juvenile daughter without probable cause before interrogating them “in an aggressive and belligerent manner.” Morgan was placed into handcuffs when Clayton allegedly started “a sexually aggressive pat-down” of her.

According to the complaint, Clayton shook the strap of her undergarment so violently that her breasts came out of her shirt. He also reached underneath her shirt before placing his hands on her lower extremities, including her leg and vagina.

Morgan was allegedly arrested, shoved in the backseat of the car so forcefully she struck her head and was put on a 24-hour hold charged with defective equipment.

In April of 2016, Clayton allegedly conducted a traffic stop on Rowland for a turn signal violation. The complaint alleges that Rowland was placed in handcuffs and searched with Clayton locating a firearm. Rowland had allegedly told Clayton about the weapon and had a valid permit to carry it.

The complaint goes on to state that Clayton confiscated and dismantled the firearm “in an unsafe manner,” handing it back to the alleged victim in pieces. Clayton then allegedly told him to leave the area and followed him until he complied.

The final incident occurred this February when Clayton allegedly set up a blockade to prevent Hayes and Borron from leaving Ferrelview. According to the complaint, he stopped the vehicle without providing a reason and accused the couple of trespassing.

Hayes and Borron had been plaintiffs in a civil suit against Clayton. During the stop, Hayes had his attorney on the phone as a witness, and Clayton allegedly grabbed at his phone in a violent manner.

The incident involving Rowland matches a story told at public meeting in May of 2016 — about a month after the date on the complaint. He was in Ferrelview to serve documents when Clayton made the stop.

Allegations of Clayton’s misconduct started to receive more attention, and Dennis Rowland — Robert Rowland’s father — began providing legal advice to some residents. An investigation The Citizen conducted last summer showed municipal traffic fines and court fees on the rise in Ferrelview with Clayton on the force.

Potential overcollection of those fines and failure to repay the state have allegedly put the village of about 450 residents into financially dire straits. The Missouri State Auditor’s Office last week released audit results for the municipal court, stating the village owes at least $30,000 to the state in over-collections.