Florida City Rejects Police Chief’s Resignation Over Trayvon Martin Case

The police chief for Sanford, Fla., was spared — at least for now — from losing his job on Monday over his department’s handling of the Trayvon Martin case.

At the end of a spirited hour-long meeting, the Sanford city commission voted to reject Chief Bill Lee’s resignation, which he offered to the city earlier in the day.

However, the commission also decided to keep Lee on the sidelines and continue to search for an interim chief until a full investigation of his conduct could be completed.

Lee temporarily stepped down last month after the commission voted it had no confidence in him amid national uproar over the Feb. 26 killing of Martin, an unarmed teen who was shot to death by a local neighborhood watchman.

“I’m not ready for him to come back to the police department. But I’m not sure I’m ready for this, either,” Mayor Jeff Triplett said, referring to the resignation.

Lee offered to quit following negotiations with City Manager Norton Bonaparte, Jr., but commission members said his resignation letter also indicated he was willing to continue to serve if the city wanted him to stay on.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nick Martin is an associate editor at TPM in New York City. He came to the site in 2011 as a reporter for TPMMuckraker. Previously, he worked in Arizona, first as a staff reporter for a local newspaper and later as a freelance journalist. He also ran the news blog Heat City. Contact him at nick@talkingpointsmemo.com
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK