DURHAM — Embattled Durham Police Chief Jackie McNeil confirmed Friday that he will retire from the department effective June 30, but he denied that a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and racism in the department is hastening his departure.
McNeil said he believes he will be remembered as a good chief.
The announcement comes a week before a critical study of the police force is expected to be released, but McNeil says he has other reasons for leaving.
McNeil faces alawsuitfiled by a group of police officers, including former police Capt. Paul Martin. In it, McNeil is charged with allowing misconduct to occur and retaliating against those who reported it.
Attorney Sherrod Banks told the gathering of reporters that none of the charges put forth in the lawsuit are true. He specifically addressed an item accusing McNeil of being too lenient on a sergeant in trouble.
Banks ran down the complete list of charges from the lawsuit and said each was either untrue or rumor.
McNeil recently delegated his administrative duties to another officer so he could head up a task force geared toward reducing crime in Durham. That task force still meets.
McNeil says he has no regrets about his tenure as chief.
The city recorded a record-breaking 43 slayings in 1996.