Ocala police chief asks for leave of absence

FOX 35 News at 5 p.m.

- Things are getting heated in Ocala after the police chief has come under fire, accused of sexual harassment and racism.   City leaders want him out.  

On Wednesday evening, Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn released a copy of the official letter he received from Chief  Greg Graham's attorney.  The letter formally asks city leaders to place Graham on paid administrative leave, during the investigation.

Two female officers accuse Graham of sexual harassment, and a male officer accuses him of racism.  The City Council voted 4 to 1 Tuesday night to start the suspension process for the embattled chief.

Mayor Guinn insists this won't start a political battle in Ocala.  "I wish they hadn't done it, of course, but I don't hold any grudges or ill will," Guinn said.

When asked if he was worried about his own job as the city's leader, Guinn said, "No, I'm not worried about my job.  That's the last thing on my mind."

He said  this will not impact the day-to-day business of leading the city.  "This is just internal, political, administrative back-and-forth."

The City Council will meet again Friday morning to formally approve the Graham's leave of absence.

If it is approved, he will still be chief and will still get a paycheck., but the deputy chief will step into the position for now.


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