Fired Quincy police chief speaks on termination for first time at packed public meeting
The topic drew heated debate for over three hours at the city’s commission meeting this week
QUINCY, Fla. (WCTV) - The firing of the Quincy police chief took center stage at Tuesday night’s city commission meeting, as former chief Timothy Ashley addressed the public for the first time since being terminated.
It was a packed house for this meeting, with standing room only and forcing several people to stand outside. A mix of people showed up, some in support of City Manager Rob Nixon’s decision to fire Ashley, and others speaking on Ashley’s character in support of him and the department. The discussion grew heated and lasted for three hours.
“City Manager Rob Nixon continuously acknowledged my contributions,” Ashley said during the meeting.
Nixon terminated his position two weeks ago, citing in part failure to ensure and maintain a functional work environment and failure to properly manage financial resources.
“I can’t say anything negative about Tim Ashley’s character. I like Tim Ashley. He’s a good person with a good heart,” Nixon said. “But I’m not here to evaluate his character and his good heart. I’m here to evaluate his performance. And while it shined in some areas, in some areas it did not. So it’s with a lot of contradictions and sadness I had to make this decision.”
Several issues were brought up by commissioners and residents Tuesday night, including a letter sent to Assistant Police Chief De’Anthony Shamar stating he is prohibited from coming to the meeting,citing mental health concerns.
That letter also said that it was written in collaboration with human resources and risk management. However, Human Resources Director Stacey Hannigan said Tuesday she was not a part of that letter.
“As this matter continues involving the chief, Assistant Chief Shamar, the Quincy Police Department and any other matters that will require my involvement in my professional capacity. I find it to be in my best interest to request whistleblower protection as well as protection against retaliation.”
Two commissioners also expressed concerns about that they were not made aware of any issues regarding Ashley or the department until after he was fired.
Ultimately, the commission voted to open an investigation into the Quincy Police Department and the city manager’s office. A meeting to discuss that process will happen November 20.
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