Sanford Police Chief Resigns, But City Won't Let Him

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Update (5:36 p.m. EDT): The Sanford City Commission voted to reject Lee's resignation letter, so he won't be fading into history quite yet. But Lee will stay on administrative leave rather than coming back to actively lead the department. It's not totally clear why the commission decided to reject Lee's offer to resign, but according to the Sentinel, he has some pretty vocal supporters there. 


[Commissioner Patty] Mahany, a Lee supporter, has said the attacks against the police chief are political.

"It's solely political…The city manager felt he had no choice," Mahany said earlier. "That there could be no healing with Lee as the police chief."

Commissioner Randy Jones said Lee "needs to be reinstated immediately" and that most of the issues regarding the police department stem from a small number of people in Sanford.

"For some, there is complete disdain of the police department, even if Jesse Jackson was the police chief,” Jones said.

Original: Bill Lee, the chief of the Sanford Police force when it didn't arrest George Zimmerman back in February, apparently thought this whole Trayvon Martin thing would blow over, and only stepped down temporarily last month so he wouldn't be a distraction. Now with Zimmerman facing a second-degree murder charge, Lee has decided there's no future for him with the cops in Sanford, and resigned permanently, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Lee hasn't spoken about his decision to quit permanently. All we know is what the Sentinel reports, which is that Lee delivered the news by phone Monday morning, and the Sanford City Commission is meeting Monday night to talk about it.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.