High Springs Police Chief on Administrative Leave, not Vacation
While High Springs city officials maintain their Police Chief requested to take time off, a letter between the city manager and the police chief shows that wasn’t the case.
“Having reviewed the operations of the police department for this past year, I feel it is time for a change in leadership,” wrote city manager Ed Booth.
According to the letter dated January 27th, Booth put Police Chief Steve Holley on 30 days paid administrative leave “effective immediately,” which was to end in the middle of February.
Last week, Booth said at a public meeting that Holley had requested a 30 day vacation at that time and hasn’t returned since.
Booth did not return calls for comment.
Though it’s clear from the letter that Holley would not be allowed to continue as police chief, Booth wrote that he didn’t want to remove him from the force.
“Because of your value as a police officer and first line supervisor, I am offering you the opportunity to return to the position of police sergeant,” he wrote. “You also have the option to retire.”
“I personally would like for you to stay,” he added.
Booth wrote that Holley had until February 17th to “decide what to do” but at last week’s public meeting, city leaders indicated they haven’t heard from him.
Here's a full copy of the letter:
Having reviewed the operations of the police department for this past year, I feel it is time for a change in leadership. Let me state that you are one the finest street police officers. You have the experience, demeanor and presence to handle most situations. Over the past year you have taken all the shifts that became open allowing you to stay in the field a good part of the time that you were chief.
Because of your value as a police officer and first line supervisor, I am offering you the opportunity to return to the position of police sergeant. Your salary with overtime will be comparable to what you are currently receiving.
You also have the option to retire. I personally would like for you to stay. Because there is not an immediate crisis, I will give you until February 17, 2014 to decide what you would like to do. You will be placed on paid administrative leave beginning immediately through February 17th. Please take this time to consider your options.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Holley could not be reached for comment.
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