Saturday, November 18, 2017
News Roundup

Kenneth City police chief offers to retire

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KENNETH CITY — Police Chief Doug Pasley says he plans to retire next week if he and town officials can strike a deal.

Pasley gave council member Troy Campbell, who oversees the Kenneth City Police Department, a written proposal Monday for his early retirement. If an agreement is reached and the council approves the deal at its meeting Wednesday, Pasley would officially retire June 20. He has offered to stay on awhile, if the town wants, until a replacement can be found.

Pasley could not be reached for comment.

"It did come out of the blue," Campbell said Friday, but he declined to discuss details of their conversation.

Campbell said he's unsure of the process from here but would like to see Kevin Matson, the senior sergeant in the department, act as interim chief. In the long run, Campbell said, "we are definitely going to search outside" for a replacement.

Campbell said attorneys for Pasley and for the town are hammering out details of the chief's early retirement agreement. Pasley set forth four main terms in his proposal. If adopted as written, the chief would:

• Be paid a lump sum equal to six months' base salary within 30 days of his retirement date. Pasley earns about $63,036 a year.

• Continue to be covered by the town's health insurance at Kenneth City's expense for 180 days after his retirement date.

• Receive accrued sick and vacation time in a lump sum. Town records show he has accrued 44.35 hours of vacation time and 181 hours of sick time.

• And receive vested pension benefits.

"This is not to be construed as a resignation or otherwise as a termination," Pasley wrote. "If not approved by the Town Council in June 2012, then this proposal shall automatically terminate and shall thereupon have no force or effect whatsoever."

Pasley, 69, was hired in December 2007 to replace Chief Jim Ernst, who retired earlier that year.

When hired, Pasley was a sergeant at the Indian Shores Police Department, where he had worked for 15 years. Before that, he spent 26 years with the Tampa Police Department. When he left Tampa, Pasley was in charge of the department's aviation and marine patrols. His starting salary was $60,000 a year.

Pasley's folksy style and outspoken belief in God were popular with many in Kenneth City, but last year he came under fire as a poor manager after the Pinellas County sheriff reviewed the department and found deficiencies. Residents came out to support Pasley and criticize then-Sheriff Jim Coats and, in July, the council renewed his contract for another three years.

Anne Lindberg can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8450.

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