Saint Petersburg, Florida - Former Saint Pete Police Chief Goliath Davis has been fired as a city administrator in St. Petersburg.
Davis has been at the center of controversy, most recently for not attending the two funerals for the fallen St. Petersburg police officers this year. Mayor Bill Foster met with Davis yesterday.
At a press conference Friday afternoon, Davis said his dismissal came after heavy criticism from local talk radio, and that, plainly stated, he was "fired for not going to a funeral."
Davis defended his decision for not attending the funerals earlier this year of Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz and Sgt. Tom Baitinger.
"My reasons for not attending the funerals of those officer was legitimate, because to do so would have exacerbated my mental, and physical well-being," he says.
While Davis explained his emotional reasons for not attending the fallen officers' funerals, he never really explained why he did attend the funeral for cop killer Hydra Lacey.
A largely sympathetic audience often applauded and cheered Davis throughout the press conference.
Davis first made the announcement of his departure earlier Friday, as he told the people he supervised that today would be his last day at City Hall.
The decision was actually made on Wednesday, Davis' birthday. He says he was about to have a birthday breakfast when Mayor Bill Foster called him to a meeting and informed Davis he was out.
Foster says he lost confidence in Davis, and that the decision was in the best interest of the city.
Here's the official statement from Mayor Foster's office:
ST. PETERSBURG, FL (March 4, 2011) - Citing a loss of confidence, Mayor Bill Foster relieved Dr. Goliath Davis of his duties as Senior Administrator of Community Enrichment on March 4, 2011.
As we advance this great City during extreme budgetary times, the Mayor will take this opportunity to re-organize departmental structures within the City, thereby consolidating Community Enrichment with other departments. Housing will become a part of Leisure and Community Services; Codes will go under City Development; and, the Business Assistance Center will become a division of Planning & Economic Development.
"This is the first of many organizational changes being discussed as we move to create greater efficiencies, while advancing the mission and goals of a city with limitless need and limited resources," said Foster.
"This management team will work together in unison, from a common script, toward a common goal of seamlessness and economic sustainability. We must not keep doing the same things as we did in the past and expect a different result, but must re-invent ourselves to attain a different and more positive result. Time is not on our side, and there is no time like the present to take bold and positive steps to assure our continued quality of life for all residents."
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