MANCHESTER, TN (WSMV) –
A 911 dispatcher, previously arrested and fired for tipping off a drug bust, was hired back to that same position two years later – only to be arrested again.
Some are asking how was she able to get her old job back?
Katie Hillis was arrested and charged with possession of narcotics on Friday. She had been working as a dispatcher up until Tuesday of last week.
Recently retired Coffee County 911 director Steve Deford hired her back after she was arrested and fired two years ago.
When News 4 went to his home on Monday afternoon, Deford initially denied that he was the former director. He would not answer why he hired Hillis back, given her past.
Residents say it’s concerning.
“To me, it seemed to fly in the face of common sense,” Julie Anderson said.
In January of 2014, Hillis tipped off a drug dealer about a bust getting ready to take place. She was charged with accessory and misuse of official information.
Two years later, she was back on the job.
“No one is willing to say this was our call, we did this,” Anderson said.
Interim director Diane Argraves confirms that Hillis’ last day was Aug. 7, when she quit and walked out of the 911 center.
Argraves would not comment specifically on her hire. She would only confirm the director is responsible for all hires.
County Commissioner Steven Jones said citizens deserve better.
“It’s very concerning that there’s not more oversight going on that allowed this to happen,” Jones said. “I would just like for people to get more involved and know what’s going on in our community. Everyone needs to be held accountable.”