Commissioner Mark McCarty compares Bill Lee decision to Titanic disaster

Sanford City Commission votes 3-2 to reject police chief's resignation


SANFORD, Fla. – After several members of the Sanford City Commission spoke out passionately in support of Police Chief Bill Lee on Monday night, Local 6 talked to one of the commissioners who didn't agree with rejecting Lee's resignation.

Lee tried to resign after fallout over the death of Trayvon Martin, the teen who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford on Feb. 26.

Commissioner Mark McCarty told Local 6 he thought Lee's resignation was done when Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett called the special hour-long meeting with city commissioners Monday afternoon.

Commissioners voted 3-2 against the resolution, with Triplett and Commissioners Patty Mahany and Randy Jones voting against it. The resolution would have allowed City Manager Norton Bonaparte to execute the separation agreement for Lee. Under the agreement, Lee would have resigned from his post, effective at midnight.

"I was really surprised that the decision came up the way it did," McCarty said. "I'm very surprised."
McCarty said he believes it was a mistake not not to accept the Lee's resignation.

"This is like the Titanic, we're heading for an iceberg, we're turning to get out of the way but we hit it again," McCarty said.

McCarty said he believes the police department had enough evidence to arrest Zimmerman shortly after Zimmerman shot and killed Martin. McCarty said he think Lee made a "colossal mistake" when he didn't arrest Zimmerman and blames Lee for not acting decisively.

"In the position as a police chief, or a city commissioner, you have to stand up and make the decision-whether the crowd hollers 'don't do this' or 'don't do that.'" he said.

Mahany led the pack in not accepting the chief's resignation, but McCarty said he believes that decision will hold the city back.

"We need to move forward and I don't think we can do that with Chief Lee coming back," he said.

Watch Local 6 for more on this story.