Investigation provides insight into Mount Dora police chief’s sudden resignation

MOUNT DORA, Fla. — 9 Investigates has learned more about why the Mount Dora police chief suddenly resigned last week.

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Police Chief Brett Meade resigned last week over what he described as differences with the city manager, who wanted an outside investigator to review an incident caught on video showing a Mount Dora police officer, without reading a suspected drunk driver his rights, suddenly slamming his head into a car window while arresting him.

READ: Mount Dora residents pack meeting to discuss controversies surrounding police department

The officer and his supervisor never arrested the driver for suspicion of DUI, opting for an easier charge because they didn’t want to do the paperwork involved.

The chief told Channel 9 last month that he never saw the video until Channel 9 investigative reporter Daralene Jones raised questions.

READ: Police search for men shooting people with airsoft guns in downtown Mount Dora

The chief said he believes the chain of command, which includes Deputy Chief Mike Gibson, didn’t launch an investigation because they viewed it as a normal police hand-to-hand contact.

The supervisor on the scene said he did have concerns and sent an email asking Gibson to review the video and requested a recommendation on whether the officer should be disciplined.

READ: Man slammed into car window by Mount Dora officer stunned to learn incident wasn’t investigated

After hearing from residents who support the chief during a meeting Tuesday, Mount Dora city manager Patrick Comiskey said, “No one asked the police chief to resign, no one asked him to leave his office.”

The chief is represented by well-known attorney Mark Nejame. They’re investigating whether Meade was forced out under pressure because Meade said he refused to violate internal affairs procedures.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.