JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Johns Creek City Council Monday approved a settlement agreement with embattled Police Chief Chis Byers, laying the groundwork for his resignation.
The resignation and confidential agreement became effecting Tuesday, Aug. 11.
The vote was 5-2, with council members Lenny Zaprowski and Brian Weaver opposed.
Announcement of the settlement agreement was not on the city’s posted agenda for the meeting. It came at the end of regular business, late in the council meeting.
Byers was placed on administrative leave in June, shortly after posting on social media his support for protests decrying prejudice, but he criticized religious leaders who back the Black Lives Matter because “it seems to glorify the killing of my brothers and sisters.”
Byers had served as police chief since March.
Johns Creek City Manager and former Police Chief Ed Densmore said he continues to have the highest confidence in the Police Department. He announced that Maj. Roland Castro will continue as acting chief until a national search results in a suitable replacement.
Mayor Mike Bodker said the agreement with Byers was by a split vote, and details of the settlement would not be disclosed.
“As we move forward, our next step is to begin the search process to fill the police chief position with a highly qualified candidate who embodies the heart and soul of our community,” Bodker said.
The ideal candidate, Bodker said, will inspire confidence in the men and women of the Police Department and uphold the respect of our residents, who will have a say in the selection.
At this time, the mayor said, the city has not mapped out details of the search process or a timetable for selecting a replacement.