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Officer fired after shooting at squirrel plans to clear his name

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Mountain City, TN (WJHL) -

He's a former officer accused of shooting and spraying mace at a squirrel inside an area store. We've been tracking the story for more than a month.

Yes, it seems nuts. Former Mountain City Officer Jody Putnam was called out to a Dollar General store in Johnson County in late September.

At the time of the incident News Channel 11 spoke with Mountain City Mayor Lawrence Keeble who said, "through a violation of the police department policy Officer Jody Putnam's employment, as a Mountain City Police Officer, was terminated by the board of mayor and alderman."

Putnam said he always wanted to be a police officer and now the fact he's without a job is killing him.

When News Channel 11 spoke with Putnam on the phone he said everyday officers are having to make tough decisions and that's what he did when he walked into the Dollar General.

According to the policy and procedures for the department whenever an officer fires his gun he must immediately report it to a supervisor, then make a written statement.

Putnam did not make a report. 

Mountain City's attorney Steve McEwen told News Channel 11 he has a conflict of interest in the case, so the town has now hired Earl Booze.

Booze said the next step is an informal hearing in front of a judge giving both sides a chance to call witnesses.

Putnam confirmed this and told me he plans to clear his name.

Putnam also told us if the city offered him a job back at the police department he would take it.

He also told me he plans to run for Johnson County Sheriff next year.

A date for the hearing has not been set, but Mountain City Police Chief Denver Church told News Channel 11 last week that former officer Putnam will not face any criminal charges.

For the squirrel in the store, we're told he made it out alive.

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