The Florida Criminal Standards and Training Commission suspended Sneads police chief, Burt McAlpin's certification yesterday for mishandling of a child molestation investigation back in 2007.
Five years ago a Sneads city worker and friend of McAlpin's was accused of molesting a 14 year old girl. The man was later found not guilty. But, the girl's grandfather filed a complaint with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement against McAlpin and it was that complaint that resulted in his suspension and probation.
"He still maintains his innocence and we're going to back him. The town is behind him" said Sneads City Manager, Connie Butts.
She also said the idea of losing McAlpin, even temporarily, did not sit well with the community.
"Quite frankly it will tear my town apart because the people support him. And there will be an appeal because I have had townspeople
calling me and telling me I'll pay for it if the town can't" Butts told us.
But the girl's family obviously see's the issue very differently. "Burt, I wish you had done your job like you should have. If you had of, a pervert would be in jail, and we wouldn't have all gone through this for all these years" said the girls grandfather, Bob Griffin.
Griffin attended Thursday's hearing and said the whole process has devastated his family. "Well it's been hard enough on us but it's been harder on my granddaughter. It's kind of left me very cynical of who I trust period" Griffin said.
And though McAlpin is facing repercussions, Griffin said nothing can change or take back what happened to his granddaughter. "Some justice has been served. But I'm not sure if all of the justice in this case will ever be served" he said.
McAlpin will remain the police chief until the official order is handed down from the FDLE. Then, he will have 30 days to assess the case with his lawyers to determine if he can appeal it.