In a surprising turn of events, the Chief of Police at the center of the Trayvon Martin shooting has had his resignation today rejected by the Sanford City Commission and two of the commissioners have been, shall we say, brutally honest in their assessment of recent events:
Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett called the special meeting with city commissioners Monday afternoon. Commissioners voted 3-2 against the resolution, which would have allowed City Manager Norton Bonaparte to execute the separation agreement for Lee. Under the agreement, Lee would have resigned from his post, effective at midnight.
Lee will stay on administrative leave until the outside investigation is completed, officials said. It's not clear when that will be.
Two of the commissioners that voted against the agreement, Commissioner Patty Mahany and Commissioner Randy Jones, spoke highly of Lee in a heated debate.
Mahany said she wouldn't accept the agreement because it was "hastily put together" and said she wasn't notified of the special meeting until 11:30 a.m. Monday. Mahan said she was devastated by the treatment of Lee, calling him one of "the finest police officers" in the community.
"This is a man who is a medal of valor winner," Mahany said. "I am physically sick over these proceedings and treatment of Chief Lee. What did the chief do wrong?"
Mahany said that both Lee and other commissioners are also enduring allegations of being racists.
"He’s paying for the sins of past police chiefs," Mahany said. "We are a great city with a great police department. We can't do this to a 52-year-old man with 30 years law enforcement experience with a family with little children. We can't do it."
Jones said Lee answered honestly at a news conference, and said that news conference "may have been a bad one" but shouldn't result in him resigning. Jones also said that the Sanford community members aren't the ones who escalated the investigation. Jones said the next outsider who comes to Sanford to get attention, "needs to be shown the finger and shown the door."
I suspect as we learn more about this entire episode, there'll be a lot of people that ought to be "shown the finger and shown the door."