Mount Dora police chief resigns after less than 2 years in position

Deputy chief Mike Gibson will serve as interim chief

New Mount Dora police Chief Brett Meade (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

MOUNT DORA, Fla. – After a little more than a year in his current position, Mount Dora’s police chief is resigning, effective Thursday.

Brett Meade announced his resignation Wednesday, according to a news release. The current deputy chief, Mike Gibson, will serve as the interim chief until a new chief is found, the release said.

“Serving the citizens of Mount Dora has been an honor and highlight of my 40-year professional career. The Mount Dora Police Department is on a stable course and I am honored to serve with men and women so dedicated to serving our community”, Meade said in a statement.

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The news release did not say what prompted the chief’s decision to leave his post.

Meade served as interim chief beginning in July 2020 and was named as the permanent replacement in April 2021. Meade is the third chief to leave Mount Dora police since 2019.

In 2019, Mount Dora police Chief John O’Grady was relieved of duty after he was supposed to present an award to the couple who owns Las Palmas restaurant. Since a medical emergency kept the couple from attending, the chief allowed a Hispanic officer to accept the award on their behalf.

He reportedly said the officer should accept the award by saying, “Here, come take this, these are your people.”

The officer replied by saying she’s Puerto Rican and O’Grady said, “same thing,” according to the report. The officer described the situation in a hostile work complaint as offensive and humiliating.

O’Grady was succeeded by Robert Bell, who had been serving as deputy chief. Bell soon faced issues of concern including questions about personnel and policies raised by members of the police department.


About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.