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The Bellevue City Council voted to appoint Deputy Mynde Heil as interim marshal on Monday.

The Bellevue City Council voted to appoint Deputy Mynde Heil as interim marshal of Bellevue on Monday night.

Heil’s appointment comes after Marshal William Ross Scaggs was placed on administrative leave last month following his arrest for felony delivery of marijuana on Oct. 13. An investigation by the Idaho State Police alleged that Scaggs delivered marijuana while on duty as the Bellevue city marshal, ISP said at the time. That case remains under investigation.

Heil previously worked for the Twin Falls Police Department before being sworn in to the Bellevue Marshal’s Office in 2018.

Mayor Ned Burns said he has “full confidence” in Heil’s ability to lead the department through this “difficult time.”

“She is an excellent officer, as evidenced by her attaining the rank of detective with the Twin Falls Police Department,” Burns said.

Heil joins a growing number of female police chiefs across the U.S. The Denver Post reported in 2017 that about 11.26 percent of police chiefs are women, based on responses from 1,500 police departments.

Burns said he is uncertain whether Heil will remain in the position permanently.

“We have not had the opportunity to discuss as a council what our policing plan moving forward is,” Burns said.

Employee drug testing

The City Council also voted Monday to amend the city’s personnel manual to enforce pre-employment and random drug and alcohol testing, on a quarterly basis, for all full-time employees operating city vehicles or motorized equipment.

“In the wake of what just happened with our Marshal’s Office, we should act swiftly,” City Councilman Greg Cappel said.

Burns said the change would create “more stringent” drug testing requirements than are followed currently and would be in compliance with existing federal regulations. He said the proposed amendment stems from Scaggs’ recent suspension.

Fire Chief Greg Beaver said his staff of volunteers already know that if a vehicle accident occurs, they would be subject to a drug test. Beaver said he has been on a random drug test list administered by the city for about nine months.

“And I have already been tested twice,” he said.

The council directed City Attorney Rick Allington to draw up the necessary changes to the city’s employee manual for council review during a public hearing on Nov. 9.

Other Bellevue news

The council approved renewal of an annual contract with Allington for prosecution of misdemeanors, for $19,980. Allington said he processes about “one or two” misdemeanors per day for the city.

The Bellevue Fire Department was awarded a $20,000 grant from the Seagraves Foundation for emergency medical services training and equipment. Trainings will begin in the spring.

The council approved a $21,713.20 payment to J.C. Constructors for a wastewater reuse system upgrade.

The council approved semiannual payment on a Department of Environmental Quality loan of $145,798, with $59,402 in interest, for the city’s sewer system, leaving a balance of $3,479,892 after the payment. City Clerk/Treasurer Marian Edwards said she would work to ensure enough “liquidity” to continue payments for the remaining 10 years of the loan.

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