Robert Warner is expected to resign tomorrow as chief of the Apache Junction, Az., Police Department, reports the Arizona Republic. An interim cheif from outside the department is expected, says City Manager George Hoffman. Warner’s departure has been anticipated since a scathing audit by a consultant criticized the department for mismanagement and a lack of professionalism. It recommended a 98-item plan to overhaul the agency.
The audit was prompted by the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old boy in April 2001 by former police Sgt. Robert “Woody” Haywood. The boy was armed with a knife and arguing with his father when Haywood was dispatched to the family’s house. The city paid $1.6 million to settle a lawsuit over the incident; the audit criticized Warner for failing to heed warning signs from Haywood’s behavior.
“I give George a lot of credit,” Councilman John Insalaco said. “He really wants to have a respectable police department.” The audit “couldn’t have been much worse,” he said. “We’re just tired of what’s been going on.”
Warner has been Apache Junction’s top cop since 1998, when he retired as the Batavia, Ill., police chief.