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Mount Dora police sergeant placed on paid leave pending conduct investigation

Sgt. Keith Taylor placed on leave, days after police chief

MOUNT DORA, Fla. – Mount Dora's police department is in the spotlight again after another member of the department was placed on paid leave. 

Police Chief John O'Grady was placed on paid leave in early April for reportedly making racially insensitive comments at a charity event. Two days after the city was alerted of the chief's reported comments, Mount Dora police Sgt. Keith Taylor was placed on paid leave. 

This marks the fourth member of the police department to face an internal investigation in the past two years.

A spokesperson with the city released a statement Wednesday that read, "Sgt. Keith Taylor was relieved of duty with pay on April 15, 2019, pending the outcome of a standards of conduct investigation."

The city declined to comment further.

According to the city, a standards of conduct investigation is defined as such: "Members shall not engage in any conduct that constitutes neglect of duty, conduct unbecoming an officer or city employee, or any act that is likely to adversely affect the discipline, good order, or reputation of the department."

The department is comprised of 75 employees. 

In 2017, one employee was placed on paid leave. The same happened in 2018. In 2019, two employees have been placed on paid leave pending the outcome of internal investigations.

Mount Dora Councilwoman Crissy Stile said she is aware of O'Grady's paid leave. However, she said she was unaware of the recent leave of Taylor.

She was told by the city manager that council members would be provided updates in their weekly meetings, but at this time, there is nothing to report. 

Taylor declined to comment for this story on the advice of his union and labor attorney. 

O'Grady's attorney Clay Morris said he's happy the city is conducting an investigation and looks forward to the outcome.

In response to the alleged remarks made by O'Grady at the charity event, Morris said there are disputes about what was said or who said it. 

Some witnesses report the chief did not make racially insensitive remarks. 

Morris would not say whether the chief will release an apology of his own and said they will determine that after the investigation is complete.