High Springs Residents Seek Answers Surrounding Police Chief's Dismissal
Published March 21st, 2014
HIGH SPRINGS, Fla. -- High Springs residents upset over the city's dismissal of its police chief expressed their frustrations with city leaders -- or at least tried to -- during a public workshop Thursday night.
The meeting was designed to allow residents the chance to ask questions and provide feedback about the city's proposed reorganization of its police department.
Yet anytime a resident tried to ask questions about the city's dismissal of Police Chief Steve Holley, they were told to save their comments for another forum.
"We've been asking questions repeatedly, we're not getting any answers," said resident Leda Carrero after the workshop. "We have questions, we want answers. They didn't even allow us to speak tonight, and when we do ask questions, they wont answer them," she said.
Last month, High Springs City Manager Ed Booth told city commissioners and the public that Chief Holley had requested a 30-day leave of absence.
But a letter obtained by TV20 last week shows the exact opposite -- that the city manager had asked the chief of police to step down.
At least one city commissioner said she would support some sort of outside investigation into the circumstances surrounding Holley's dismissal.
"This community needs the opportunity to speak on what just transpired in our police department," said Commissioner Linda Gestrin. "I don't like the fact that things are changed behind the scenes. There are a lot of unanswered questions," she said.
Holley was at Thursday's workshop but declined to speak on the record.
At the end of the meeting, Mayor Byran Williams told the crowd that many of the issues surrounding Holley's dismissal will likely be added to the agenda of a future city commission meeting, although an exact date was not given.
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