Monday, August 25, 2014

Jonesboro Police Chief Mike Yates resigns; reporter will return to Jonesboro Sun

Posted By on Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 11:34 AM

click to enlarge yatesletter.png

Jonesboro Police Chief Mike Yates has resigned his job in a letter that said he must take responsibility for his mistakes.

Mayor Harold Perrin suspended Yates without pay for 30 days Friday and ordered him to apologize to the Jonesboro Sun and its former police reporter, Sunshine Crump, for his derogatory comments about her and the newspaper on Facebook. That was described as an agreed deal. Perrin said at the time that the decision left people unhappy on both sides of the issue — those who thought Yates should have been fired and those who defended Yates for his conduct, which included procedure changes that made it harder for the police department to obtain public information.

Crump, a former lawyer, resigned from the newspaper on account of the difficulty Yates had created for her in doing her job.

The mayor named Tim Eads acting police chief during Yates' suspension. 

This morning, Perrin distributed a terse release that said Yates had submitted his resignation effective immediately and that Eads would continue as acting chief. He released Yates' letter, reproduced above.

I'm checking with the Sun to see if there's a chance Crump might be returning to work at the Sun. The Sun had expressed disappointment at the mayor's decision to retain Yates. It had earlier hired a lawyer to pursue complaints about the nature of Yates' comments and his interference with the Sun's ability to do business.

UPDATE: Chris Wessel, editor of the Sun, said:

Because of Police Chief Mike's Yates' resignation, Sunshine Crump has agreed to return as a reporter for The Sun.

He's promised me the Sun's full coverage later this afternoon.

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