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Kingsport police officer under investigation for perceived threats against Fun Fest participants

Kacie Dingus Breeding • Aug 15, 2007 at 12:00 AM

A Kingsport Police Department patrol officer has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the conclusion of an investigation sparked by "unprofessional comments and perceived threats" against Fun Fest participants, Police Chief Gale Osborne said Wednesday.

Osborne said Patrolman Eric Manis, who has worked for the department since September 2003, was placed on leave Aug. 9 for allegedly posting the questionable content on his personal MySpace Web site after working during Fun Fest.

Manis' comments apparently were directed "against people at Fun Fest," rather than anyone in particular, Osborne said, adding that because the investigation is ongoing, he couldn't provide more specific information at this time.

As always, Osborne said, the department’s “primary concern is the safety of the public.”

“We don’t condone or tolerate any kind of unprofessional conduct, but at the same time we have to gather the facts and we operate on the facts rather than hearsay,” Osborne said.

“First and foremost, we take it very seriously...and if we see that he’s in violation of the general orders, it’ll certainly be dealt with appropriately.”

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