Friday, December 15, 2017
News Roundup

Kenneth City police chief retires

KENNETH CITY — Town Council members have unanimously accepted a proposal that police Chief Doug Pasley take early retirement.

Under an agreement adopted Wednesday, Pasley will receive 26 weeks severance pay as well as accrued vacation and sick time, totalling about $33,468. He earned about $63,036 a year.

That's a bit less than Pasley wanted, but more than the council was required to pay. The vote was 4-0, with council member Ron Sneed absent.

The chief had also asked for the town to pay insurance costs for six months, but that wasn't granted because it was not part of his employment contract. He also did not receive the full 181 hours of sick leave he had accrued. Kenneth City's personnel manual caps that at 160 hours.

Pasley, 69, has been chief since December 2007. He has been popular with many in Kenneth City because of his down-home style and talk of his belief in God.

But he has also been a controversial figure. He was accused last year of poor management after the Pinellas County sheriff reviewed the department and found deficiencies. But many in the town and on the council saw fault with the sheriff's report rather than with Pasley. He was granted a three-year extension on his contract.

His popularity was evident at Wednesday's meeting. Most of the seats in the town hall were filled.

And after the vote, former Mayor Muriel Whitman announced that the "friends of Doug" would hold a retirement party for him June 24. Everyone is invited, she said. Whitman was mayor when Pasley was chosen to be chief.

Sgt. Kevin Matson will serve as the interim chief. Matson, 48, has been with the department since January 1989. He earns $68,536 a year.

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

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