WILMINGTON — City of Wilmington police officer Anthony Mitchell resigned on Friday, according to the city.
Last month Mitchell was placed on administrative leave by Mayor John Stanforth pending completion of a criminal investigation.
Stanforth said the resignation comes in the wake of the city’s decision to seek a pre-disciplinary hearing for Mitchell to address his alleged failure to follow departmental rules and procedures, according to a news release from the city on Friday.
“Mitchell’s resignation now forestalls additional administrative sanctions against Mitchell,” the release stated.
Stanforth expressed his thanks to Clinton County Sheriff Ralph Fizer Jr. and that department’s deputies who have assisted the city in covering the local schools as resource officers while the city is in transition.
Stanforth said that efforts to replace Mitchell will begin immediately.
“The city of Wilmington is budgeted for a full force of police officers, and I intend to work vigorously to fulfill the expectations of our residents,” he stated.
“Our actions will protect the integrity of our police department and support the important work they do for all of us,” continued Stanforth. “We rely on the hard work and good faith of all the men and women who work for the City of Wilmington, and as disappointed as I am in the actions of a few, I’m satisfied that we are addressing the issues carefully and expeditiously.”
Stanforth stated that he is “proud of the WPD’s ability to serve our community dutifully and faithfully during this challenging time. Their collaborative efforts will serve us well as we rebuild.”
Investigations are ongoing in regards to a current officer, a former patrol officer, and an administrative assistant.
Also, Mayor Stanforth announced on Jan. 23 that Police Chief Duane Weyand was placed on administrative leave pending the outcomes of the investigations and a review of internal procedures. The mayor emphasized then that there is no criminal investigation being conducted of the police chief. The decision to have the police chief also go on administrative leave is in accord with the advice of the city’s legal counsel, Stanforth said last month.
Stanforth said last month that separate investigations of alleged misconduct involved Mitchell and current officer Josh Riley, currently on paid administrative leave; former officer Jerry Popp; and Anna Collins, the department’s administrative assistant, who is also on paid administrative leave.
Popp resigned from the WPD in December “to pursue other opportunities”, Weyand announced on Dec. 11.