SANFORD -- Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, under fire for his handling of the investigation into the killing of unarmed Miami Gardens teenager Trayvon Martin, temporarily removed himself from office Thursday, a day after city commissioners gave him a vote of no confidence.
Lee, stressing his credentials as a former homicide investigator, said that he stands by the police department and the investigation.
“I am aware my role as leader of this department has become a distraction from the investigation,” Lee said, adding that “temporarily removing” himself from the role would restore a “semblance of calm to the city which has been in turmoil for several weeks.”
Two captains will head the department until an interim chief can be found, according to City Manager Norton Bonaparte Jr. The city manager did not specify whether Lee would continue to be paid his $102,000 salary, or when he would return to his job as police chief.
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