02/24/11 — Fremont police chief candidate says 'no'

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Fremont police chief candidate says 'no'

By Gary Popp
Published in News on February 24, 2011 1:46 PM

FREMONT -- Fremont town officials announced Glenn Neal as the town's new police chief Wednesday, just hours before Neal told them he actually would be taking a job elsewhere.

Town Administrator Kerry McDuffie thought the search for a new police chief was over Wednesday afternoon. Neal had accepted the job, certification papers were obtained from the state and the swearing-in ceremony was scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight at Fremont Town Hall.

But those plans were aborted when McDuffie received a telephone call from Neal late Wednesday afternoon saying that he would not accept the position -- after the town had sent out letters of rejection to the other 19 candidates.

"We are disappointed that he backed out, but we understand that he has to do what is best for him and his family," McDuffie said.

Neal, who served 19 years in the Wilson County Sheriff's Office, did not disclose what job offer he is taking over the Fremont position.

McDuffie praised Neal's loyalty as a public servant only hours before Neal decided not to pursue the job for which he applied and accepted.

"It really took us by surprise. We are not sure at this point what we are going to do," McDuffie said.

He said he will meet with Mayor Devone Jones and members of the town's Board of Aldermen to regroup and move forward.

Fremont has had three people serve as police chief in the last seven years.

McDuffie said he is hoping to find an individual who is motivated to begin a lengthy career a police chief.

In the meantime, Teresa Quinn, who has filed a sexual harassment and sexual discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against McDuffie -- and who applied for the chief's job -- will remain as interim chief. She had been the patrol sergeant prior to being named to the interim position.