At a closed meeting last night, the Aberdeen City Council rejected the mayor's recommendation that Police Chief John R. Jolley be removed for allegedly voiding dozens of traffic and parking tickets, and misappropriating money in a discretionary fund.
The council rejected 4-1 the recommendation by Mayor Ruth Elliot and voted instead to turn the matter over to City Administrator Peter Dacey for action.
Mrs. Elliot made her recommendation based on findings in a July 2 report by Stephen Montanarelli, a state special prosecutor, who cited several administrative improprieties by Chief Jolley, including the voided tickets and several checks written against a discretionary fund under his control.
She recommended that the council call for Chief Jolley to resign by tomorrow and, if he refused to do so, to remove him from office immediately.
Mrs. Elliot said she was not surprised by the council's action.
"It was just as I expected," the mayor said. "They overruled my recommendation, and I just feel there were a lot of things that were overlooked."
Council President Ronald Kupferman had expressed support for Chief Jolley previously, saying the report "exonerates" him and calling the chief the "most honest man" he knows.
Mrs. Elliot's recommendation said, in part, that it is "not satisfactory to accept or reward in any way an individual who holds the public trust and then acts in any way to jeopardize that trust."
"There is a code of conduct, I believe, that a police officer and a chief of police should be representative of," she said, adding that, as mayor, she is obligated to protect the public trust and ensure it is never broken.
Mr. Dacey could not be reached for comment.