JELLICO, Tenn. (WVLT) -- It's no secret that Jellico has major financial problems. Last month, Mayor Les Stiers said he furloughed two police officers - H. Wayne Conrad and David Douglas - to save the city some cash.
"We don't have the money to pay them, so if our financial situation improves, we can call them back," said Stiers.
But that's not why Conrad believes he was laid off. He filed a lawsuit claiming in October, Stiers told officers to write more tickets. He also claims Stiers told them they would be required to patrol the interstate harder - including between mile markers 156 and 160. That stretch is outside the city limits. Conrad says he was let go because he wouldn't keep quiet about these policies, which he believes are illegal.
"I never mentioned tickets, because there's never a quota put on any officer - that would be ludicrous to say, "You go out here and write "x"number of tickets," said Stiers.
As for patrolling the interstate:
"I never, ever told them any mile marker to patrol from or to or write a number of tickets. Part of the interstate is in the city limits and we have to patrol our city limits," said Stiers.
David Douglas didn't want to go on camera, but said Stiers told him he wasn't writing enough tickets, which was why he was being furlouged.
Again, Stiers denies the claim and said he decided to furlough the men after evaluating their performance. So what does that mean?
"I won't go into detail about that because of the litigation," said Stiers.
Jellico's police chief refused to comment. We were unable to get in touch with H. Wayne Conrad or his lawyer.