City Manager John Dever has fired one police officer and suspended a second on charges that they used excessive force in arresting a 29-year-old man last Thanksgiving. Dever last week fired Officer Todd Houser and suspended Officer Ron Meyers for 30 days following an internal police investigation. Both officers had been suspended with pay since May 8.
Houser and Meyers were punished after they arrested William D. Powell of Chicago, a college student, on charges of resisting arrest and interfering with police officers. The officers at the time were investigating the passing of forged $20 bills in a city market at a house where Powell was staying with relatives. During the arrest, Powell allegedly was handcuffed, kicked in the face by Houser and beaten in the face by Meyers, said Powell's lawyer, Robert R. Chesley of Orange. No charges were ever filed against Powell. Chesley said he is in the process of filing a civil lawsuit against the city.