Steve Moore addresses the Simpsonville City Council during a meeting. (Feb. 12, 2013/FOX Carolina)
Keith Grounsell addresses the Simpsonville City Council during a meeting. (File/FOX Carolina)
SIMPSONVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -
During Tuesday night's meeting of the Simpsonville City Council, officials voted to appoint a new police chief.
The 4-to-2, executive-session decision to appoint interim police Chief Steve Moore as the permanent replacement for former chief Keith Grounsell comes nearly two months after the controversial decision to fire Grounsell.
Grounsell was fired at the Dec. 28 Simpsonville City Council meeting and since then, he has fired back at the council, claiming he was let go because he tried to clean up the department.
Following his firing, 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.
Since Grounsell was fired, dozens of people have attended city council meetings. Some held signs and wore T-shirts showing their support for the ex-chief.
Last week, Eichor said he asked the State Law Enforcement Division to investigate a misuse of power by former Police Chief Keith Grounsell and Ward III Councilwoman Geneva Lawrence. He said the pair worked together to create a vacancy at the police department and hire Lawrence's relative to fill it.
Grounsell called Eichor's accusations false, malicious and illegal. Lawrence declined to comment.
In a statement, Grounsell told FOX Carolina that he has mixed emotions about Moore's appointment.
"I am happy for Steve Moore because he is a friend and a good man, but sad that the city decided to make a move like this while under a SLED investigation and over my very controversial termination."
Moore has been with the police department since 2009.
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Here's some of the previous stories about the controversy caused by the firing of Simpsonville Police Chief Keith Grounsell.Dec. 28, 2012: Mayor: Fired Simpsonville police chief was not good fitJan. 8,More>>
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