Andrews Mayor Frank McClary announced in a 6:45 p.m. press release Friday that he has decided to separate the town from the services of Andrews Police Chief Mark Whitfield.
“On Friday, June 29, 2018, Chief of Police Mark K. Whitfield was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal review to investigate a formal grievance levied against him,” McClary wrote in the release. “After a thorough review, I have decided to separate his services from the Town of Andrews Police Department effective immediately.”
McClary did not give details of the separation in the release and he was unavailable for comment. But on July 2, he told the Georgetown Times that he was “reviewing internal concerns about the chief.”
“I can’t go into detail because it’s a personnel matter,” McClary said on July 2. He also said he would not confirm or deny if the State Law Enforcement Division was involved with the investigation.
Whitfield joined the department in January 2017 after serving as deputy chief for the Kingstree Police Department. He was named interim chief after the former chief, Melvyn Garrett, and officer Brenda Lambert resigned in June 2017.
Whitfield was sworn in as police chief on June 30, 2017.
The Andrews Police Department has been plagued by leadership issues in recent years. Garrett was appointed police chief in August 2016 after serving as interim police chief in the wake of McClary firing former Chief Kaynnera Capers over allegations of misconduct. Capers was later cleared of any criminal wrongdoing. Andrews Town Council voted against reinstating Capers.
On July 2, McClary said police Lt. Sallica Williams is currently acting as the department’s commanding officer. The mayor further said the department was in “great shape” and he has full confidence in the town’s officers.