Officials: 2 Simpsonville fire, police leaders suspended - FOX Carolina 21

Officials: 2 Simpsonville fire, police leaders suspended

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Simpsonville Fire Chief Wesley Williams (Simpsonville Fire Dept.) Simpsonville Fire Chief Wesley Williams (Simpsonville Fire Dept.)
Assistant Police Chief Colleen O'Neil in a Dec. 2012 interview with FOX Carolina about a meth lab. (File/FOX Carolina) Assistant Police Chief Colleen O'Neil in a Dec. 2012 interview with FOX Carolina about a meth lab. (File/FOX Carolina)
SIMPSONVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

City officials said two leaders with the Simpsonville fire and police departments have been suspended.

Simpsonville City Administrator Russell Hawes said Fire Chief Wesley Williams and Assistant Police Chief Colleen O'Neil were suspended indefinitely. Hawes would not comment as to why they were suspended, saying he could not comment on personnel matters.

The suspensions come in the wake of the firing of Police Chief Keith Grounsell. The Simpsonville City Council voted 5-2 on Dec. 28 to fire Grounsell, who took the job 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."

Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor said in the firing release that a review of Grounsell's performance prompted the council's decision to fire him.

Grounsell's attorney said he may make a statement at Tuesday night's scheduled city council meeting.

When asked if an outside agency is investigating the personnel issues, Hawes said he could not comment on that either.

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