Galveston Police Department's chief steps down

GALVESTON, TX Galveston's City Hall has withstood many storms. Now, there's concern about whether it can withstand the latest in political storms.

On Friday night, Chief Wiley, in a surprise move, announced his retirement.

Wiley declined Eyewitness News' request for an interview, but said in prior reports his retirement was partly in response to the city's decision to fire City Manager Steve LeBlanc. Wiley also said his future was in jeopardy.

"Chief Charles Wiley felt that given this uncertainty given the process that led to the city manager's termination, too much uncertainty. He didn't know if the evaluation criteria would apply not only to the city manager, but also to any department head," Galveston Spokeswoman Alicia Cahill said.

Over the past year, the face of Galveston City Council has changed drastically. There four out of seven new council members, including a new mayor who previously stated that he wanted to create his own legacy.

Council voted two days earlier to fire LeBlanc after he received a poor performance review because of his reported lack of interaction with the public and leadership issues. He was the man credited with helping Galveston become financially stable after Hurricane Ike's massive devastation.

Cahill says Wiley's retirement is tied to LeBlanc's termination.

But the police chief himself recently was the center of controversy.

Last November, an investigation was launched targeting Wiley and the former internal affairs investigation after talks of budget cuts and layoffs led to allegations of bullying officers into silence about the changes within the department. In fact, 85 percent of the Galveston police force signed a vote of no confidence in Wiley's leadership skills. The Galveston Municipal Police Association also accused the chief of supressing the free speech rights of his officers.

The vacancies created this week also creates concern about whether other department heads are at risk, including public works, the fire chief and city planner.

Galveston City Council is scheduled to meet on Tuesday and announce a new city manager.

Meanwhile, Wiley is expected to stay on the job until July 7.

Cahill says Wiley's annual salary is $124,000, plus $3,000 for car allowance. He will be paid any unused vacation time.

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