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Gainesville officials decided Kelly had to go as chief
City officials reached conclusion after investigating personnel issues within police force
Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly

Gainesville Police Chief Brian Kelly resigned Friday morning in a move the mayor said was in the city’s best interest.

The resignation came amid reports of low morale within the department. The Times learned an inquiry was launched in recent weeks regarding personnel issues within the police force.

Sources said the Human Resources Department conducted interviews with several police personnel to discuss morale, pay and Kelly’s management style.

Several officers have left the department in the past few weeks, according to sources.

When city management reported its findings, it became clear concerns about Kelly’s leadership were widespread throughout the police department and he had lost the confidence of his staff, sources said.

Mayor Danny Dunagan, Assistant City Manager Angela Sheppard and Human Resources Director Janeann Allison met Friday morning with Kelly. Dunagan told The Times he felt it was in the city’s best interest that Kelly relinquish command of the department.

Capt. Carol Martin will serve as interim chief, according to a news release from the city. She has been with the department since 1987 and is captain of the Support Services Bureau for the department and has served as commander of the Criminal investigations Division.

Earlier this month, The Times reported that Maj. Paul Sherman, former second in command at the police department, retired in January as a result of infighting with Kelly.

“There was a difference in leadership styles … and we just got to a point there where we were polarized in our opinions,” Sherman told The Times. “The underlying climate of everything is that we had reached a professional impasse. We just simply weren’t seeing eye to eye on certain issues.”

Kelly has been with the department since 1996 where he started as an officer in the patrol division, according to a news release issued by the city after The Times broke the news. He was promoted to sergeant in 1998 and lieutenant in 2003. He was sworn in as chief in 2010.

According to the severance agreement, obtained by The Times in an open records request filed Aug. 14 for Kelly’s personnel file, Kelly will be paid a lump sum of about $22,000, equal to three months pay.

Kelly will also continue to receive medical benefits for three months, and will be paid his hourly rate for unused vacation and sick days.

His hourly rate as of October 2013 was $41.21, or $88,296 annually, according to a personnel action form obtained in the open records request.

Sheppard said she appreciated Kelly’s service and wishes him the best.

“Under Chief Kelly’s tenure the department has maintained its CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) Accreditation and implemented the latest technology to increase the efficiency of the department,” Sheppard said.