Former Simpsonville Police Chief Keith Grounsell wants his job back and has filed a grievance to do just that, according to his attorneys.
Grounsell had been on the job for three months when the City Council voted to fire him on Dec. 28.
After the vote, Grounsell said the decision to fire him was because he tried to clean up the department and butted heads with Assistant Police Chief Colleen O'Neil. However, Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor said the decision was made because Grounsell was not a good fit and failed to work well with the city's administration.
On Monday, Simpsonville City Administrator Russell Hawes said Fire Chief Wesley Williams and O'Neil were suspended indefinitely.
Hawes would not comment as to why they were suspended, saying he could not comment on personnel matters. However, in his grievance, Grounsell alleged an inappropriate relationship between Williams and O'Neil, which violated a number of department policies.
Grounsell said that when he reported the relationship to Hawes, the city administrator turned on him.
"If they call me uncooperative because I reported ethical, moral, policy and legal violations, then I am guilty of this," Grounsell said in the 24-page grievance, which was presented to city leaders. "With the suspension of the assistant chief and fire chief, all I have to say is you were warned. Now it is your turn to do the right thing."
Eichor said the grievance is full of inaccuracies and stands by his vote to fire Grounsell. However, he did not rule out Grounsell being reinstated.
Despite the ongoing saga, Eichor said the residents of Simpsonville are safe.
"They still have a safe and secure city with an outstanding department with good, responsible, qualified officers," Eichor said.
O'Neil declined to comment. Williams could not be reached for comment.
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Sunday, August 31 2014 3:31 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:31:29 GMT
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