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Flint police chief resigns, before mayor-elect could fire him

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Flint Police Chief Tim Johnson decided not to wait to be fired by the city’s new mayor.

Johnson announced Friday that he was resigning.

Flint mayor-elect Sheldon Neeley planned to fire Police Chief Tim Johnson, after he was sworn into office on Monday. Johnson was a key aide to outgoing mayor Karen Weaver. He often accompanied the mayor to public events. Johnson was even photographed fixing a Weaver campaign sign during the mayoral campaign.

Neeley defeated Weaver by a few hundred votes on Tuesday. Weaver has not formally conceded the race and could still request a recount.

Appearing on Public Television’s Off The Record program, before Johnson’s resignation was announced, Neeley confirmed his intension to find a new top cop for Flint.

“I consider him a personal friend. But we need a different direction,” says Neeley.

Neeley says he has been talking to possible replacements.   The incoming mayor says he wants someone who can work with the county and state law enforcement agencies that also patrol Flint’s streets.

Ironically, the new chief may have to work with Tim Johnson.

Johnson didn’t just announce his resignation Friday. He also announced he’s running to be Genesee County Sheriff.

Last month, Sheriff Robert Pickell announced he was retiring.

A committee is choosing Pickell’s interim successor. Voters will decide in November, 2020 on a permanent sheriff. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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