The head of the Baltimore Police Department's education and training division abruptly resigned Wednesday.
Reached by phone, John A. King said he left because the acting Police Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner Anthony Barksdale, "wants to go in a different direction." Sources said he was escorted from his office. Two sources with knowledge of the situation but who were not authorized to discuss it said King resigned after being confronted with a complaint from an employee. King denied that he had been presented with any complaints. "That's absolutely not true," he said.
Anthony Guglielmi, the chief spokesman for the department, said King's resignation was a "personnel issue" and he could not comment on the circumstances, but he said King left on his "own free will and was not asked to leave by the deputy commissioner or any other member of the command staff."
The departure of King, the former chief of the Gaithersburg Police Department, comes just six months after he was handpicked by Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III in December to lead training efforts. He was a rare outside hire for the department.
In addition to leading the Gaithersburg Police Department, King had been a high-ranking commander in the Montgomery County Police Department. Bealefeld called a meeting with the media after King and new internal affairs director Grayling Williams were hired, saying he wanted to restore credibility in the department by bringing in two top officials from outside the agency.
Separately, sources also confirmed that a search warrant was executed Wednesday as part of an investigation into allegations of overtime abuse by two patrol commanders.
The overtime investigation surfaced in recent months, with two patrol commanders coming under scrutiny for allegedly signing each others' overtime slips. Commanders are not eligible for overtime.
City Councilman Brandon M. Scott said he learned of the allegations “which led to an investigation by the [Inspector General] who turned it over to internal affairs.”
“I’ve been assured by Commissioner Barksdale and [Internal Investigations division] Chief [Grayling] Williams that the investigation will be handled with appropriate diligence and haste,” Scott said.
King's resignation and the search warrant in the overtime investigation surfaced the same day a homicide detective, Anthony Fata, was charged by city prosecutors with perjury and misconduct, with prosecutors alleging he shot himself and then lied about it.