The Statham police chief, Allan Johnston, resigned his position Sunday, Dec. 1.
Johnston, who has been chief since 2014, has been under fire from citizens for nearly three years.
Before being named chief, Johnston was a lieutenant for the Statham Police Department, where he worked for eight years.
His three-paragraph letter of resignation does not say he has taken another job. Johnston's last day will be Sunday, Dec. 15, he said.
He asked that his regular payroll check and a check for 96 vacation hours be ready for him to pick up Monday, Dec. 16.
He said he will train John Wood, the assistant police chief, as the interim chief between now and his last day.
Johnston said Monday he was “taking some time off. I’m taking some time and deciding what I want to do.”
He said he also worked for the Jackson County and Athens-Clarke sheriff’s offices. He said he had been in law enforcement for 32 years.
The criticism of Johnston became near-constant after a series of arrests by then-officer Marc Lofton in 2015 and 2016.
Statham faced, and still faces, multiple federal lawsuits over those arrests, most of which involved driving under the influence-less safe charges.
Johnston and Mayor Robert Bridges made multiple statements supporting Lofton and defending the charges he made. Bridges did not seek re-election to his office.
Lofton made 63 arrests for DUI in a 10-month period in 2015. Of those, 58 involved DUI-less safe charges. He left the police department in July 2017.
A majority of those charges were dismissed by the district attorney.
The city’s insurance carrier has settled multiple lawsuits in the past year and has paid out more than $330,000.
Another five or six federal lawsuits are active in the Gainesville courts.
A new city government with a new mayor and two new council members will take office in January.