LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — Lawrenceville Police Chief Tim Wallis has stepped down and will officially retire in two weeks, the city said Tuesday after he was originally suspended for 10 days last week following an investigation into sexual harassment and hostile workplace claims.
Lawrenceville's City Manager Chuck Warbington said last week he was "disturbed" by the findings of the investigation, which were not offered by the city in detail.
Wallis denied any allegations, calling them "false" and "unsubstantiated" and in a letter to Warbington asked that the suspension "be removed or at the very least reduced."
But on Tuesday, Warbington said in a statement that after meeting with Wallis, they "mutually agreed that it was best" for him to step down and officially retire from the city on Feb. 15.
"Chief Tim Wallis is a long-standing member of the Lawrenceville Police Department and provided many years of dedicated service to the City," Warbington said in a statement. "As we prepared to move the Lawrenceville Police Department forward after recent events, I met with the Chief to discuss the future. During that meeting, Chief Wallis and I mutually agreed that it was best for him, the City, and the Police Department that he step down as Chief and retire from the City on February 15, 2022.”
A release by the city said Police Major Myron Walker, who has already been serving as acting police chief, will continue in the role.
In addition to the suspension of Wallis, the city announced last week the assistant chief would be required to take "documented verbal counseling," and the city said an unnamed police captain had resigned rather than cooperate with the internal investigation.
“I was disturbed by the findings of the investigation and issued penalties to the appropriate employees, including a requirement for individual training,” Warbington said last week. “The City of Lawrenceville prides itself as an inclusive and safe workplace for all employees. The workplace culture revealed through this investigation did not meet the standards of excellence expected of all departments in the City. This is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
The city said additional measures being taken include:
- Mandatory in-person training for police department employees as well as the entire city staff.
- A city-wide emphasis on redirection of staff to the personnel policy addressing workplace behavior and related expectations.
- A clear city-wide communication process for submission of confidential employee complaints.
In Tuesday's release, the city said: "The City of Lawrenceville is committed to moving forward in a positive manner. No further comment will be made by the City."