EAST RIDGE, TN. (WRCB) -- On the same day an East Ridge police officer pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident last month, he was terminated from the department.

Police Chief Eddie Phillips said the internal affairs investigation found that Sean Merriman drove his personal vehicle and struck a neighbors parked vehicle causing major damage to both vehicles.

Among the reason for firing Merriman were the facts that he left the scene of the accident, made no attempt to notify the owner of other vehicle or law enforcement, and then failed to respond to investigating officers knocking on his door soon after the accident even though they knocked loud enough to wake neighbors.

Chief Phillips also noted that Merriman gave misleading statements to investigators by telling the traffic investigator he had not been drinking and telling internal affairs investigators he had been drinking some time prior to the crash but claimed he was not impaired at time of the accident.

Hamilton County General Sessions Judge Christie Mahn Sell accepted his misdemeanor guilty plea in exchange for judicial diversion, which allows his record to be expunged after 30 days.