MOUNT DORA, Fla. - The police chief of the Mount Dora Police Department has been placed on administrative leave over allegations that he made insensitive comments about Hispanic culture at a charity event.
In the incident, Chief John O'Grady was handing out awards after a golf tournament at a Cuban restaurant. The owners of the restaurant were being honored, but were not in attendance.
The chief allegedly looked at another Hispanic who is Puerto Rican and said, "you're the same people, you come up and accept it for them."
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"These words matter because he's the police chief," said Antonio Lerma, who owns a business in the area. "This affects the whole community."
According to some in attendance, there was surprise in the crowd full of law enforcement and community business leaders.
The city will pay an outside firm to investigate the allegations, whih will include interviewing those in attendance.
If O'Grady resigns, he will likely keep his benefits, including his pension. If the investigation leads to his termination, he could lose it all.
O'Grady has been with the department for six years and was promoted to public safety director in 2017. He has been in law enforcement for more than 30 years and was hired as police chief in 2013.
O'Grady has declined comment on the accusations.
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