Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte (left), looks on as Chief Bill Lee speaks to the media.
The central Florida police chief who was strongly criticized for his agency’s initial investigation of Trayvon Martin’s slaying was fired Wednesday.
City Manager Norton Bonaparte said in a statement that he relieved Chief Bill Lee of duty because he lacked the trust and respect of elected officials and the community.
“We need to move forward with a police chief that all the citizens of Sanford can support,” Bonaparte said. “I have come to this decision in light of the escalating divisiveness that has taken hold of the city.”
Lee will receive three months of severance and one week’s salary, in addition to any earned time off, under his contract.
“I wish Chief Lee all the best in his future endeavors,” Bonaparte said.