Phillip Lee is an officer with the Huntsville Police Department once again. The City Council voted Thursday evening to reinstate Lee after he was fired from the force earlier this year. Chief Lewis Morris fired Lee after he allegedly injured a man during an arrest and pulled a woman from her car during a traffic stop. The two incidents happened in 2011 and both victims sustained injuries.
The decision to reinstate was not unanimous. Council President Mark Russell and Councilman Will Culver both voted to uphold the termination. Councilmen John Olshefski, Bill Kling, and Richard Showers all voted to reinstate.
The Fraternal Order of Police has stood by Lee as well as fellow officer Brett Russell who was also fired for alleged indiscretions on the job.
"We have never once contended that they didn't do anything wrong but we just felt that the punishment that they received was excessive," said FOP President Bill Davis.
Lee has been off the force since May. Members of the council were in agreement that a suspension without pay is needed, but were not able to agree on the length of time.
The group ultimately voted to let Chief Lewis Morris make the decision.
The suspension will be addressed at next week's meeting. Officer Brett Russell's termination will also be discussed.