The Lookout

Sanford commissioners reject police chief’s resignation

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Lee speaks to the the media during a news conference, March 22, 2012. (Julie Fletcher/AP)

UPDATE 5:42 p.m. ET: Sanford, Fla., city commissioners voted 3-2 to reject the resignation of Police Chief Bill Lee on Monday. According to the Associated Press, the "majority blamed the uproar surrounding Martin's death on outsiders."

Lee, who last month left his post temporarily amid criticism of his handling of the Trayvon Martin case, had planned to step down permanently, according to CNN. The Sanford City Commission held a meeting Monday afternoon to vote on the resignation.

Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett said he would wait until an investigation into Lee's conduct is concluded before weighing in on the matter.

"I'm not ready to have him come back and run the police department," Triplett told CNN. "But I don't know if I'm ready for this either."

Lee--who was harshly criticized for not arresting Martin's shooter, George Zimmerman, on the night of the Feb. 26 shooting--initially announced he would step aside until the public furor receded.

"I am aware that my role as the head of the department has become a distraction," Lee said at press conference on March 22. "I have come to the decision to temporarily remove myself."

Capt. Darren Scott, who has served as interim chief during Lee's absence, will remain in that position for now.

Zimmerman was released early Monday after posting a $150,000 bond.

He was fitted with an electronic monitoring device before leaving the John E. Polk Correctional Facility, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office said.

On Friday, Zimmerman--who's been charged with second-degree murder--apologized to Martin's family during a dramatic two-hour court hearing.

"I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son," Zimmerman told Martin's parents on Friday in his first public statement about the death. "I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. I did not know if he was armed or not."

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