Aberdeen Police Chief John R. Jolley, who withstood investigations, political pressure and legal battles over the past 18 months, has resigned, city officials said yesterday.
The resignation is effective Jan. 2, City Manager Peter A. Dacey wrote in a three-paragraph statement.
Chief Jolley, 55, has commanded the 35-member department since 1989.
Reached by telephone, he said he had decided to move on when his latest legal battle, a sexual harassment lawsuit brought against him by his former secretary, had ended.
That lawsuit was dismissed last month.
"I choose not to do the job any longer," Chief Jolley said. "I don't feel I've been treated very nice by some people in the department, and I have decided to do something else."
He would not elaborate about his plans.
Mayor Charles R. Boutin and the Aberdeen City Council appointed Capt. Charles F. Lawson interim chief, and they plan to start a search for a new chief immediately, Mr. Dacey said.
Chief Jolley said he would assist Captain Lawson until Jan. 2.
Since July 1993, Chief Jolley has been the target of two investigations by the state prosecutor involving allegations that he misappropriated discretionary funds under his control, illegally sold confiscated weapons, voided dozens of parking and traffic tickets, took a confiscated pornographic videotape for personal use and mishandled a missing person report.
In each instance, State Prosecutor Stephen Montanarelli concluded that Chief Jolley had committed no criminal acts.
Both investigations were requested by Ruth Elliott, the former mayor of Aberdeen who lost to Mr. Boutin in the May 3 city election.
Last month, Harford Circuit Judge Cypert O. Whitfill dismissed a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Vikki L. Horne.
In his lengthy written opinion, Judge Whitfill said Mrs. Horne's own language and demeanor in the workplace and her testimony in depositions persuaded him that the case had no merit.