Simpsonville Mayor Releases Statement on Grounsell Firing

Eichor: "He does not have the skills to be the police chief…." Grounsell files grievance; demands hearing.

As supporters were set to mass at City Hall before Tuesday night's City Council meeting to peacefully protest the firing of Simpsonville Police Chief Keith Grounsell, Mayor Perry Eichor released a statement late Tuesday afternoon stating his regret for originally voting to hire him.

The statement also came a day after Grounsell delivered a highly detailed, 24-page letter to City Hall demanding an official grievance hearing over his firing by Council in a 5-2 vote on Dec. 28. The letter makes a step-by-step case against the firing. Read Grounsell's grievance letter here.

While Eichor said he was saddened this situation has occurred with Grounsell, he added, "…I made an error when voting to hire him."

Here's the full text of Eichor's statement:

"There have been a lot of questions asked in recent days about personnel matters within the City of Simpsonville. As Mayor of Simpsonville, I believe it is important for me to share my views.

I am saddened this situation has occurred with Keith Grounsell. I was one of the four people who originally voted for Keith Grounsell. I understand the pressures and job requirements of being a police chief- I used to be one.

However, I made an error when voting to hire him. He does not have the skills to be the police chief responsible for the 40 plus employees in this city. While his resume showed he was an experienced police officer, there is a major difference between being an officer and a chief of police.A police chief is required to report to the City Administrator. He has to answer to all of City Council. He has to take instructions. He has to manage all employees fairly and by the laws of the City of Simpsonville -not his own.

Keith Grounsell knew all of these job requirements, but did not follow them. He repeatedly said and showed by his actions that he believed he was the absolute authority and refused to work with others. Keith Grounsell also showed a lack of candor needed to be a police chief when he had discussed the details of a human resources meeting that he earlier had agreed to keep confidential.

It was my and the majority of City Council's judgment that he needed to be removed after a series of decisions by him put the city in jeopardy of legal action after repeatedly being told not to do so. This was not an action that was taken lightly."

Gregg Jocoy January 09, 2013 at 03:35 AM
Thanks for following this issue Hal. I'd appreciate it if you would consider coming on our radio program to discuss what you know. The show is on WOLT, 103.3 FM Tuesdays from 1 to 2 PM. If you're up for it, please drop us a note at OccupyTheMicrophone@yahoo.com. Thanks!
Nick Smith January 10, 2013 at 07:57 PM
Mayor, You saidmore than once, in a council meeting that you can admit when you're wrong. I guess you are a man of your word. Too bad you didn't see Grounsell's true self before he destroyed the police department. Nonetheless, you did right to vote to fire him. Those people at the PD deserve someone who has the department's and the city's interest at heart. He truely does NOT have a servants heart! That was clearly demonstrated Tuesday at the council meeting. What a pompous guy! If he was bigger I'd swear he was suffering from roid rage! I'd hate to have him get upset with me as an officer. Can you say EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE?
Jane Doe January 12, 2013 at 04:10 PM
@Nick Smith aka Colleen O'Neil - I guess you think you are the person that they "deserve". If that is the case, God have mercy on the Simpsonville PD. Also, you said that you would hate to have him upset with you as an officer. I believe he was upset with you as an officer but he didnt use "excessive force" with you, now did he? You are just upset that you were overlooked as the new chief because the officers of Simpsonville HATE you. Can you say DISGRUNTLED EMPLOYEE? In addition, do you really think that your EEOC complaint is going to get you the job as Chief? The only thing that could destroy the Simpsonville PD is if YOU became Chief. Talk about pompus.
James Jones January 29, 2013 at 12:32 AM
Mr Grounsell, didn't yo see The Godfather episode where the Don spoke to his son after a brash statement he made. He apologized for his son and when the group left he told him "never tell anyone outside the family what you are thinking again". You need to learn to get along and keep your opinions to yourself until the opportunity is right sir.
Jane Doe January 31, 2013 at 09:01 PM
@james jones. Are you kidding? You think Chief Grounsell should have just let everything go unnoticed as it always has? Thats whats wrong with Simpsonville now. Just look the other way when rules are broken or corruption veers its ugly head.


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