Mayor: Fired Simpsonville police chief was not good fit - FOX Carolina 21

Mayor: Fired Simpsonville police chief was not good fit

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The Simpsonville City Council takes a vote on the future of the city's police chief. (Dec. 28, 2012/FOX Carolina) The Simpsonville City Council takes a vote on the future of the city's police chief. (Dec. 28, 2012/FOX Carolina)
SIMPSONVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor said in a news release Saturday that fired police Chief Keith Grounsell was not a good fit for the city.

The Simpsonville City Council voted 5-2 Friday night to fire Grounsell, who took the job only three months ago.

Grounsell said the decision to fire him was because he tried to clean up the department and butted heads with the assistant chief.

"For the citizens, it's an injustice," Grounsell said after the vote. "A man comes in with strong ethical character and tries to adhere to those values and won't compromise (his) ethics. They voted me out of office."

Eichor said in the release that a review of Grounsell's performance prompted the council's decision to fire the chief.

One of the councilmen that voted to fire Grounsell, Julius Wellborn III of Ward IV spoke with Fox Carolina's Nikki Davidson Saturday.

"This is a very upsetting situation," said Wellborn. "I'm not happy with how this has turned out. I think he would have been a good police chief. I'm not very happy with my position on counsel. Maybe things could have resolved themselves in time."

One of the two members of the council that did not vote to fire Grounsell, Sylvia Lockaby said the meeting and the vote was a complete surprise to her.

"I still don't know why Grounsell was fired," she said. "I feel the decision was made even before we walked into the door to the meeting last night. When we left I was just 'what just happened?'" 

The remaining members of the council did not comment on the incident.

Lt. Steve Moore was appointed as interim chief, Eichor said in the release. He said the search for a permanent replacement will begin in the near future.

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