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Kingsport police officer resigns; still faces charges for off-duty altercation with Johnson City officer

Kacie Dingus Breeding • Sep 26, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Kingsport Police have announced the resignation of a second officer in a little over a month's time following the conclusion of an internal investigation launched after a neighboring department filed criminal charges.

KPD Police Chief Gale Osborne announced Wednesday that officer Jason McLain came in two days earlier to submit his resignation, effective immediately, after the department notified him of the conclusion to their internal investigation into an altercation with Johnson City Police earlier this month.

McLain, 34, of 145 Nicole Drive, Mount Carmel, faces charges of simple assault, public intoxication and resisting arrest. While off-duty, he allegedly punched a Johnson City Police Department officer in the nose after being awakened in his car in the parking lot of the Electric Cowboy, 1805 N. Road St., about fifteen minutes after the nightclub's 3 a.m. closing time.

Osborne said he respected McLain's decision. "He'd been with us, I think, close to 13 years, and provided good service to us. We appreciate his service, and we appreciate his time with us and his decision," Osborne said.

The JCPD officer reportedly wrestled with McLain until he was placed in handcuffs. Police also said he had a strong odor of alcohol on him when they opened his vehicle door.

Although internal investigations sometimes run parallel to court proceedings, the department's investigation of McLain didn't hinge on whether or not the court found him guilty of the charges, Osborne said.

Osborne declined to release information about the conclusions reached during the internal investigation, citing a possible effect on the outcome of the court case. For the same reason, he would not confirm or deny whether McLain would have been dismissed if he hadn't resigned.

But Osborne did say the department doesn't take their professional standards lightly. He cited an ongoing internal investigation into Cpl. Tim Candler's role in an incident involving vice officers surveilling his wife and her co-workers in the parking lot of Alexander Prosthetics, on Stone Drive, based on a drug tip he provided to them.

Violations of KPD's professional standards are also what led Patrolman Eric Manis to resign Aug. 27. An internal investigation into his off-duty MySpace Web site postings found he'd violated a city policy against workplace violence and engaged in conduct unbecoming an officer.

In his postings about Fun Fest, Manis wrote, “Usually it’s about day three before I feel like mowing down people with an assault rifle, but this year it seems to be hitting all of us in the emergency services field rather early."

When relating the story of festival goers asking where the parade route was located, Manis wrote, "I held my tongue, took a deep breath ... smiled and sent them to Riverview.”

"We've got a lot of great people. Most of them here put their life and heart and soul into this place to be professionals and we do have high expectations and we're going to maintain those standards," Osborne concluded. "We believe that with all our hearts."

Kingsport police officer resigns following investigation of off-duty fight in Johnson City

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