Mayor resigns, police chief terminated in Bonifay
BONIFAY, Fla. (WTVY) - Major changes have been made among Bonifay city offices.
At an emergency meeting Tuesday evening, it was announced Emily McCann, Mayor of Bonifay, has resigned from her position.
Bonifay’s city attorney Michelle Jordan read the resignation letter of McCann aloud to start the meeting. It read as follows:
I, Emily McCann, resign as mayor of the city of Bonifay, effective immediately. The constant and recent threats against the safety of my council, employees and family are too much. While it’s been a dream to support the city in this capacity, I cannot continue to put the safety of my family and myself at risk.
Following the resignation, Larry Cook, Vice-Mayor of Bonifay, immediately followed by stating Bonifay Police Chief Jimmy Macon has been terminated after being in position for a few months.
“The mayor has resigned, and I was the vice-mayor so I am the mayor. So, at this time, Chief Macon has been terminated from his position about 15 minutes ago,” said Cook.
Mayor Cook then said he will appoint Johnny Whitaker as interim police chief.
There was no vote or discussion regarding Macon’s termination or the appointment of an interim chief. Notably, Cook last Monday, August 28, made the motion to switch public safety in city limits from Bonifay Police Department to Holmes County Sheriff’s Office, a motion that was seconded by McCann and later voted down by all other members of the Bonifay City Council.
Former Chief Jimmy Macon released a statement to News4 regarding his termination.
First of all, I want to thank the citizens of Bonifay for allowing me to serve them for that short period of time of 90 days. I appreciate each and every one of them that stood up for the police department and still stand with the police department. They have a friend for life. I might not be the Chief now, but if they ever need me, they can contact me and I’ll help them in any way I can.
According to the Holmes County Advertiser, a letter was addressed to Macon from Mayor Cook addressing the reasons for termination, stating negligence for leaving a service weapon and badge at Golden Corral in Dothan, Alabama and unprofessional conduct during a city council meeting on August 28.
Macon stated to News4 that he never received a badge or service weapon from the city. He claims he left a small black bag at the restaurant with his own personal off-duty pistol and a former badge of his from the state of Alabama.
UPDATE: After a phone call with News4 on September 6, former police chief Jimmy Macon stated he never received a letter from Larry Cook explaining why he was terminated.
Macon claims to have called Dothan Police Department shortly after leaving the restaurant and noticing his bag was missing. He went back to the restaurant and retrieved it, which was put in an office room by restaurant staff. No one was harmed from the situation.
After the termination was announced, the city council appointed James Sellers as the next Vice-Mayor.
Video of the emergency meeting can be found below (CREDIT: Samantha Perry):
clarification: New information was added to the story regarding the 'letter of termination' reportedly sent to Macon.
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