Suspended Mayfield police officer resigns

A Mayfield police officer who was suspended on June 6 has resigned, according to Mayfield Mayor Teresa Rochetti-Cantrell.

Maj. Shannon Keller of the Mayfield Police Department is one of two officers suspended on June 6, accused of violating department regulations. The other officer, Lt. Chris Watkins, resigned Friday, June 17

The mayor says Keller resigned Monday, June 20.

"I am pleased with this result and believe that it is the best outcome for the citizens of Mayfield and the officers of the Mayfield Police Department," Rochetti-Cantrell said in a news release Monday.

On Tuesday, Rochetti-Cantrell released a statement on her Facebook page explaining more on her decision.

"The Police Officer’s Bill of Rights (KRS 15.520) prohibited me from making any comments or releasing any records during the internal investigations of the Mayfield Police officers. I realized that some may not have agreed with my decision to follow this law but, as Mayor, I had no choice and must respect the law. Just prior to me filing administrative (not criminal) charges against the two officers, the officers resigned. They both were entitled to a public hearing which would have allowed the citizens of Mayfield to hear the allegations against them and would have given the officers the opportunity to respond, but they chose to resign instead. At that point, I was faced with a difficult decision. I could accept their resignations, which would mean that the allegations against them would not be made public or I could refuse to accept the resignations, file administrative charges, and drag the City and the Police Department through a long, drawn-out, difficult, and expensive process, with the City receiving significant media attention for negative, rather than positive reasons. I decided that accepting their resignations was best for the City of Mayfield and the Police Department. As mayor, my ultimate goal will always be what is best for the City of Mayfield, not based on what I think the public opinion will be of me or whether I lose votes. Those who know me know that every decision I make is guided by prayer, seeking direction from the One who has great things in store for Mayfield. Some decisions are more difficult than I would like to have to make. If the citizens of Mayfield don’t like the decisions I have made, then they should express it in the election. If I lose this office because I am doing the right thing – and sometimes the most difficult thing – then so be it. But until then, I will continue to do what is best for the greater good of our community."

The mayor says the resignations mean neither officer will be investigated further. We have asked about the nature of the department rules they were accused of violating but have not yet received an answer.

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