Timmonsville Police Chief officially fired by mayor - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

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Timmonsville Police Chief officially fired by mayor

Former Chief Gregory Palmer. (Source: WMBF News interview in May 2015) Former Chief Gregory Palmer. (Source: WMBF News interview in May 2015)
The Timmonsville Town Council at their regular meeting Tuesday. (Source: Kaitlin Stansell) The Timmonsville Town Council at their regular meeting Tuesday. (Source: Kaitlin Stansell)
The audience at the town council meeting. (Source: Kaitlin Stansell) The audience at the town council meeting. (Source: Kaitlin Stansell)

TIMMONSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – Timmonsville Police Chief Gregory Palmer has officially been fired following a decision by the mayor at a town council meeting Tuesday night.

“My decision was not an issue for council to take an action on,” Mayor Darrick Jackson said. “As Mayor, on the behalf of the town of Timmonsville, I am separating Chief Palmer from the Timmonsville Police Department."

Palmer was suspended last week pending his termination at the town council meeting. Timmonsville Town Administrator Mary Bines said the mayor and some council members had lost confidence in Palmer’s ability to lead the department.

"There were numbers of issues, but at this time, I have no comment on them issues," Mayor Darrick Jackson said.

During Tuesday’s meeting, council member Cheryl Qualls said the town used taxpayer money to pay for then-Chief Palmer to be bailed out of jail after he was arrested for failing to pay child support. Qualls then asked that a forensic audit be done to uncover exactly what money is being spent by the town and how, adding that a vote was never done to approve money be spent on Palmer’s bail.

Mayor Jackson said the money, a little more than $4,000, was a personal loan to Palmer. Jackson said a promissory note was signed by Palmer stating that he would pay the town back.

However,  some council members say they have never this documentation.

"There is going to be a big price to pay if you fire Chief Palmer come election time!" one citizen said to Timmonsville council members.

The town’s equipment, like Palmer’s service weapon and patrol car, have been removed from him.

Billy Brown, who has more than 20 years in law enforcement, was appointed acting chief.

Palmer was hired in May 2014 to lead the department after town officials reorganized the police force when they disbanded it in 2012.

Something else WMBF News found out Tuesday night is that the mayor and town management gave a personal loan to Palmer a few months ago to get him out of jail in Sumter County. It was for a little more than 4-thousand dollars.
The mayor wouldn't say much about the action and several council members said they just heard about this incident days ago despite it happening back in March.

Mayor Darrick Jackson: "We was aware of an incident that occurred and on the conclusion of the management team decided to assist Chief Palmer because it affected the town of Timmonsville and the citizen security.">    

I asked the Mayor if this issue was the reason why he had lost confidence in Palmer and fired him, and he said he had no comment except that there were numerous issues that lead to Palmer's firing.

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