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Search for TPD police chief continues after Gilliam backs out of deal

Posted at 8:18 AM, Dec 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-23 08:18:30-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Six months of searching for a new leader has taken a surprising turn for the Tallahassee Police Department.

Antonio Gilliam will not be the next police chief.

We've got high hopes to see what he can do."

High hopes turned to high tides as Antonio Gilliam backed out of a deal to become Tallahassee's next top cop.

"We were two weeks into that contract and Antonio elected not to continue," said City Manger Reese Goad.

City manager Reese Goad paints a very different picture than Gilliam over what led to the split.

"I was disappointed. That's how I would put it. We had a candidate that had the qualities that could lead us forward, but this is a marriage. It has to be a two-way street," said Goad.

Gilliam says at the center of it all contract disputes.

After a failed agreement on language in the deal that would allowed him to get fired "without cause" and no control over who's on his staff.

People in the community not happy about how this all played out.

"I was surprised with the city with this employment at will. This is ridiculous. I think he should've been given the due cause clause and a time limit. We do this with football coaches here, why not police chiefs," said Anthony Duben.

Some hope there's still time left to patch things up.

"People in charge ought to act like they're in charge at this juncture and take over, hold a meeting and get this thing worked out," said Proctor.

The city, now going back to the top eight candidates to pick the next chief.

"We've got to make sure that we're prepared to move forward to find the best chief for our police department."

The city has not said when the process will officially pick back up again or when we can expect to have a new chief named.

In the meantime, Major Steve Outlaw will keep leading the department as interim chief.