Harrisburg mayor, ex-chief discuss sexting allegations, deleting records, and other conflict

Former chief admits to sexting his wife on the city-issued phone but denied sexting a seperate woman with whom allegations were made

Also admits to wiping government-issued phone’s memory but denies wrong-doing

HARRISBURG, Ark. – The Harrisburg Mayor, Randy Mills, said he has lost sleep several nights over the recent issues he has had with his now-former police chief, Gary Hefner.

Mills told NEA Report he gave Hefner the ultimatum of resigning or being fired for “several reasons.” In summary, the Hefner wiped his city issued phone following allegations that he exchanged sexual photographs with a married woman.

“He had some inappropriate photos on his phone – on his city issued phone,” Mills said. “He was actually demoted because of that. When I got his phone back from him, he had done a factory reset on his phone. Those photos could not be brought up, nor could the text message thread that involved an alleged incident that happened between him an a lady. But anyway, he had wiped his phone. Everything was gone.”

Hefner admitted in an interview with NEA Report he did have several nude photographs on the city-issued phone but they were exchanged with his wife only. He admitted during an interview with NEA Report to factory-resetting the device to prevent these photos from being seen. He denied exchanging sexual photos with anyone else and said that certain photos circulating around were Photoshopped fakes. NEA Report was not aware of said images and have not been able to inspect them for signs of editing as of this publication.

But he doesn’t think that was the reason he was dismissed.

Instead, Hefner described several moments were he thought he had offended the mayor. He said he once suggested an officer for a job resulting in the mayor slamming his hand on the table and telling him he was on, “thin ice.”

“You know, he’s well-known for yelling out at city council members when he gets aggravated or if something doesn’t go his way,” Hefner said.

In late 2017, Hefner said a gun sale took place by the department. Retrieved firearms from the evidence locker were to be sold off. Hefner said the agreement with the mayor was the proceeds would go toward a police fund for equipment purchases and other needs. When around $15,000 was raised, Hefner said Mayor Mills changed his mind and decided the funds were needed to run the city. Hefner refused.

“I said, ‘Well that’s not what we agreed upon and I’m not giving you the checks,'” recalled Hefner. “But I didn’t have the money.”

Later that night, when he was asked by a council member about the money, Hefner said he publicly stated what the mayor said to him. He said the mayor publicly disagreed with Hefner’s statement as being true, furthering the divide between the two.

Mills said he told Hefner on Monday he could resign from his demoted-position of patrolman. The mayor said he was prepared to terminate him after much thought. Mills said Hefner first said he would resign but then later said he would retire. Surprisingly, the mayor said he does not think Hefner will go through with either.

“No, and I don’t expect it to happen,” Mills said. “I do not imagine that he will submit a letter of resignation or his intent to retire.”

The mayor said if it comes to that, it will be a question for the city attorney as to how to proceed.

“Right now, I’m going on the assumption that if that’s what he says he’s going to do, I have to take him at his word,” Mills said.

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