The Sanford, Fl., City Commission refused to accept the resignation of its embattled police chief yesterday, saying that Bill Lee has a spotless record and deserves more time for the city to determine whether he bungled the Trayvon Martin probe, the Miami Herald reports. A month after handing down a no-confidence vote against Lee, the same commission voted 3-2 to keep him on. Lee took a paid leave of absence last month after coming under fire for his handling of the investigation into the Martin killing.
“I'm physically sick about what's happening to Chief Lee,” said Commissioner Patty Mahany. “I'm physically sick about the attack on this community. I'm absolutely disgusted. [ ] This city was invaded by people who have their own personal agenda.” Lee's 10-month tenure as chief came into question after he did not arrest the neighborhood watch volunteer who killed Martin, an unarmed teenager. The shooter, George Zimmerman, ultimately charged with second degree murder, was released on $150,000 bond yesterday. While Zimmerman, strapped to a GPS tracking device, was ushered off to an undisclosed location, Lee offered his resignation, making clear he was stepping down under pressure. That pressure came from City Manager Norton Bonaparte, Jr., who felt Lee needed to go for the city to “move forward.”