Lake City Police Chief and City Manager Aren't Going Anywhere
LAKE CITY - Despite accusations of creating a hostile work atmosphere for minorities, Lake City Police Chief Argatha Gilmore and City Manager Wendell Johnson aren't going anywhere.
Some believe a disproportionate number of black officers have been let go from the force.
Tuesday night, the city council unanimously voted to keep Gilmore and Johnson in their positions.
The NAACP spoke out Monday night about why they want Gilmore and Johnson to resign.
Most of the members left before Gilmore had a chance to speak.
TV 20's Yaremi Farinas spoke to the Lake City mayor who said Gilmore presented enough evidence that she is not discriminating against African American officers.
"I'm a citizen. I live here," said Lake City resident Elizabeth Allum. "This is my life. This affects my everyday life."
Allum, who attended Monday's meeting, said she supports her police chief.
"She has been battered, battered and battered. The whole time she stood tall. She stood proud and she took it," Allum said.
Gilmore chose not to comment, but we were able to talk with Lake City police spokesperson Steve Shaw.
Shaw said Gilmore presented a PowerPoint presentation at the meeting. She pointed out topics like the picture she took with some men and the Confederate flag and the reasons why each officer was terminated.
"The former Capt. Rudolph Davis, he was terminated simply because she did not want him on her command staff," Shaw said. "She believes that the decision she made was a good decision."
Gilmore provided the community with the total number of employees who have left since she took the job. Ten were African American and 24 were either white or Hispanic.
John Mayo, president of the Columbia County branch of NAACP , said there will be a town hall meeting soon to discuss further actions.
"The NAACP does not compromise," Mayo said "We continue to go forward. This is going to get bigger and bigger."
While some believe this battle isn't over, others feel it's been resolved.
"When these issues come up, it's good for a community to air the views and have everybody have their say like we did last night. It was a long meeting, but at the end I think we got to the bottom of it and we addressed it," said Lake City Mayor Stephen Witt.
Witt said there will be no investigation at this time. He said if the battle continues, he will keep listening to the NAACP if they present new evidence.
As of right now Gilmore and Johnson are here to stay.
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