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Pembroke replaces police chief
Crowe says he was forced out over car repair bid; Sgt. Stacy Strickland taking over as interim
Crowe Mark
Former police chief Mark Crowe

Pembroke city officials announced Monday night the resignation of police chief Mark Crowe and the appointment of Sgt. Stacy Strickland as interim chief.

But Crowe says he isn’t leaving without a fight. He said he isn’t stepping down as chief or leaving the department until he talks with a lawyer.

"I have not resigned. I am waiting to hear back from the interim chief on when to report to duty," Crowe said Tuesday morning. "He told me he hasn’t received authorization to give me a time to come to work, but I am going to go to work for now until I hear from an attorney"

The announcement was made during the council’s regular meeting in City Hall, which followed a called meeting to discuss personnel.

City officials declined Monday night to talk about the reasons behind the change in leadership at the police department, though the decision was made after a called meeting Friday, according to Mayor Mary Warnell. But she said after Monday’s council meeting she has confidence in Strickland and there will be no immediate search for a successor. Instead, the department will work on getting state certification, she said.

Strickland, the senior sergeant in the department, also served as interim chief from December 2008 to May 2009.

He said his plans are "to continue the guidance of the Pembroke Police Department, to continue working with the group of professionals we have and to continue doing what we do as police officers."

Crowe, who earned about $40,000 a year as the town’s police chief, had been on the job since June 2009.

He said he was told he could stay on the force "if I was demoted to star corporal." He said another condition was that he write a letter of apology to Pembroke Body Shop owner Joey Burnsed, who went before the council in May to complain about a bid from the police department for car repair going to a Statesboro business.


Read full story in June 12 issue of the Bryan County News.

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