Mayor G. Monty Manibog said Police Chief Jon Elder, who went on medical leave Aug. 6 with a complaint that job stress was harming his health, will be off duty for at least another three weeks on the advice of doctors.
Manibog said council members had a "frank and heated discussion" about Elder's leave this week and agreed "that there will be a lessening of tension" in an effort to reduce stress on the police chief. Manibog said most council members want Elder to return to work as soon as his health permits and "no one said that they didn't want him back." Deputy Police Chief Bob Collins is serving as acting chief in Elder's absence.
Elder has not publicly specified the cause of stress and Manibog declined to elaborate on the tension that he said the council would try to reduce. The City Council has been divided for months over numerous issues, leading to angry council meetings, petition drives by citizens and recall efforts.