By Rachel Lippmann, KWMU
St. Louis, MO – The chief of the St. Louis County police has announced his retirement.
Colonel Jerry Lee says he will serve until August 1st or until the board selects a new chief. The 38-year veteran has led the department since June 2004.
St. Louis County Police Association president Bob Frohne says the union will be sorry to see Lee go. Frohne says the chief was loyal to both the sworn officers and the department's civilian employees. He says he's glad the new chief will come from within the department.
Lee and county executive Charlie Dooley clashed last year over money in the county budget that paid for new officers for Dooley's youth violence initiative. Lee, in a public disagreement with Dooley, said he would have preferred the money go to pay raises for his officers.
News reports indicated Dooley may have been trying to oust Lee by filling the oversight board with members who supported the county executive. Those concerns have help up the appointment of two new board members for at least a month, though the Board can still conduct business because a quorum remains.