Mayor discusses fallout from announcing MPD chief's retirement - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Mayor discusses fallout from announcing MPD chief's retirement

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(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Mayor Todd Strange has opened up about the week since announcing outgoing Police Chief Kevin Murphy will remain on leave until he retires in September.

"I know I made the right decision, and I'm at peace with it," Strange said.

But questions are still swirling since Monday's announcement.

Wednesday, WSFA 12 News contacted all city council members about the mayor's decision.

David Burkette, Arch Lee, and Glen Pruitt went on the record saying they were caught off guard, unaware of any issues until the decision was made for Murphy to retire early.

Charles Jinright said the Mayor briefed them all. On the phone Thursday, CC Calhoun agreed with Jinright that all council members heard directly from the mayor. Richard Bollinger says he hasn't received any information to support the mayor's decision.

"We had an executive session, " Strange said. "Every one of them knew what the situation was, knew where we were going. Some even questioned the fact that we were going to give him this leave time, so there's no question that the city council was fully apprised of that."

Now, days after that heated moment, the mayor wishes some of it had happened differently.

"The timing was terrible. Hindsight's always 20/20, we didn't have a written agreement. I think we had some understandings," Stange said.

And he takes exception with those who are publicly questioning his character.

"I don't begrudge anybody questioning my decisions, I don't begrudge anybody challenging the direction that I'm going, but what I do not like is people questioning my integrity, to call me a liar, to call me vile things that just are not true. So when people start questioning my integrity, then they start questioning my faith, they're impacting my family, and that's where I get upset," Strange said.

He's moving forward now, standing alongside Interim Chief John Brown when a new class of police officers graduated Thursday.

"Those 11 being to get in on the ground floor under new leadership," Strange said.

The Mayor hopes people will stop choosing sides and simply support the police department from here on out.

Kevin Murphy will officially retire at the end of September. He'll remain on administrative leave until then.

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