Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller has resigned following the outcome of a months-long state investigation into allegations of misconduct.
City Manager John McDonough accepted Miller’s resignation after “careful consideration” of the city’s focus on “the importance of preserving public trust and confidence,” according to a statement city spokesperson Leslie Fletcher emailed late Tuesday afternoon.
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Deputy Chief Howie Thompson will continue to serve as interim police chief.
Interim Capt. Jason Rampey remains on paid administrative leave.
No evidence to support a criminal charge for Miller or his staff was found after a State Law Enforcement Division investigation was launched in May following allegations of misconduct, but First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe said there was evidence that Miller and Rampey were untruthful about taking action to get a public intoxication charge dismissed for a wealthy businessman in August of 2018.
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Charges for the businessman — who was not identified in a letter about the investigation that Pascoe sent to SLED earlier this month — were dropped based on the city’s Good Behavior Dismissal policy. The investigation showed that though an arresting officer and a high-ranking command staff member disagreed with the handling of the arrest, Miller ultimately had the authority to dismiss the charge.
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Still, Pascoe said in his letter that the chief’s behavior was “very troubling.”
Miller sent The Greenville News the following statement late Tuesday:
“It has been my highest honor to faithfully serve Greenville for more than five years. Together, we have improved the quality of life for our community and substantially reduced crime; we have advanced policing to a much higher, responsive and more compassionate level; and, we have improved preparedness and professionalism throughout our ranks. It is my hope that the department will strive to live by its core values, expressing them in every action it takes, and defending the rights of all in the work that it does, regardless of their stature or status in our community. Our public deserves nothing less.”
Per the separation agreement, Miller will receive a severance payment equal to four months of his salary, Fletcher said in an email. Miller’s most recent salary was $159,536, according to an employee evaluation obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
“The City and Chief Miller have determined that the interests of Greenville citizens and the fine officers of the Greenville Police Department are best served by arriving at an amicable separation,” the city’s statement reads.
SLED’s investigation found evidence that Miller and Rampey were untruthful in their statements to SLED agents about the handling of the businessman’s arrest, according to Pascoe’s letter.
“There is evidence that both Chief Miller and Lt. Rampey may have misinformed SLED during their interviews,” the letter states. “Such conduct inevitably causes investigations to take more time, and increases the costs associated with the investigation, all of which occurred in this instance.”
After Pascoe’s Dec. 17 letter, McDonough placed Miller and Rampey on paid leave while assessing the outcome of the investigation and its findings.
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Check back with greenvilleonline.com for more on this developing story.
Daniel J. Gross is an investigative watchdog reporter focusing on public safety and law enforcement for The Greenville News. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @danieljgross.
Published at Tue, 31 Dec 2019 13:37:00 +0000