Savannah-Chatham Police Chief Willie Lovett may announce his retirement as soon as Friday afternoon, according to sources within the law enforcement community.
A message left on Lovett’s cell phone Thursday evening requesting a telephone call was not returned.
City of Savannah spokesman Bret Bell said Thursday afternoon that City Manager Stephanie Cutter had not received that information from Lovett.
Julian Miller, police department spokesman, said Thursday afternoon he did not have anything official on the reports and could neither confirm nor deny them.
Throughout Thursday afternoon, Savannah-Chatham police officers were seen entering City Hall. Police Capt. Dean Fagerstrom declined comment as he left about 5 p.m.
Mayor Edna Jackson could not be reached for comment Thursday, and Chatham County Manager Russ Abolt declined comment. City and county officials are involved in the appointment of the police chief.
Meanwhile, a Savannah-Chatham police officer has accused Lovett of sexual harassment. Cutter notified the mayor and city council in a memo that those allegations are being investigated by an outside law firm.
The memo, dated Sept. 20, stated that Lovett has been notified of the allegations and investigation and that “Upon completion of the investigation, council will be notified of the findings.”
No further details were available Thursday.
Lovett, 63, has been with the Savannah Police Department and its successor, the combined city-county department, for more than 40 years. He has been chief since April 2010 after being named interim chief when his predecessor, Michael Berkow, resigned in August 2009.
Lovett was named assistant police chief by then Chief Dan Flynn in December 2004.
He was designated as interim police chief for the first time in November 2005 when Flynn stepped down at year’s end and served in that capacity until Berkow was named chief in November 2006.
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