David McAllister resigned from the county police
force in the wake of an investigation into how
off-duty assignments were handled and paid for with
his professional and personal reputations apparently
Other than general references
to "management practices," it never was publicly disclosed
for what he was being investigated. He was not accused of
violating any law or regulation. Nor will he be, either
civilly or criminally.
Even less was revealed about
how the resignation came about.
Following a 70-minute session
of County Council's executive committee behind closed doors
on Oct. 18, Nicole Majeski, County Executive Christopher
Coons's chief of staff, distributed copies of a brief
statement which, on behalf of Coons, said, in part:
"Chief McAllister has
tendered his resignation and acceptance of it concludes the
investigation of management practices in the New Castle
County Police Department with regards to Chief David
McAllister. By agreement of Chief McAllister and New Castle
County, the investigation has concluded. No disciplinary
action will be taken. There has been no request for, and no
agreement made, to provide financial incentives for the
Like all Council standing
committees, the executive committee consists of all 13
Council members. They all were present at the meeting.
Council president Paul Clark
said after the session that the third of three separate
investigations was continuing. Being conducted by the
department's 'professional standards unit', it involves the
roles of rank-and-file officers relative to off-duty
practices and the compensation fund. State law puts the
chief outside the purview of an internal investigation
providing that jurisdiction to the county law department.
His having command of the
investigating unit was given as the reason McAllister was
placed on paid administrative leave in July, when its probe
began. The fund predates McAllister's being promoted to
chief in 2003 by several years.
McAllister joined the force
in 1992. He held the rank of lieutenant, the lowest command
rating, when he was appointed chief by former County
Executive Tom Gordon, who himself had previously been police
chief. The appointment required a change in the law, which
previously set having held the rank of captain or above as a
requirement for the job. The chief holds the rank of
Then and since, observers
have regarded McAllister as a political favorite of Gordon
and former administrative officer Sherry Freebery, who had
succeeded Gordon as police chief.
Acting police chief Scott
McLaren, will continue in that position until McAllister's
successor is chosen, the statement said.
According to the statement,
McAllister, who is 36 years old, "is satisfied with the
goals accomplished during his tenure [and] now wishes to
explore some recently presented career opportunities."
McAllister did not attend the
committee meeting and could not be reached for comment.
When Delaforum sought comment
from his lawyer, Jeffrey Weiner, Weiner replied, "No
comment" and abruptly hung up the telephone.
As previously reported, an
audit of the off-duty jobs fund by auditor Robert Wasserbach
found several irregularities. Apparently the most serious
involved an unidentified officer who reportedly wrote
himself as many as 67 checks forging the signatures. Clark
said more than one officer remain subjects of the internal
generally involve uniformed officers performing such police
duties as security and traffic management for private
The resignation agreement was
signed by McAllister,Weiner, Coons and county attorney Gregg
Wilson on Oct. 14.
It provides that:
• The file of the
investigation will be sealed and destroyed after seven years
in accordance with county government's document retention
• "The [Coons] administration
will make its best efforts to minimize any discussion of the
specific allegations of the investigation as to David
• McAllister will not sue the
• He will be paid for accrued
vacation time and sick leave; and
• Parties to the agreement
will not "publicly or privately disparage" each other.
Chief administrative officer
David Singleton stuck closely to the agreement while
responding to the media following the committee session. He
refused to go beyond the wording of the press statement,
adding that "this puts the end to the matter."
He did say that it was "not a
forced resignation" and that McAllister will receive no more
in the way of compensation than is his due as a departing
"The chief has chosen to
leave the employment [of] New Castle County [government],"
Clark said. "This is over. Everybody said good-bye. ... It's
time to leave the past behind."
Before the assembled
committee voted unanimously to go into executive session,
Clark read from the state's open-meeting law provisions
shielding discussion of personnel matters and pending or
potential litigation. When Councilman Robert Weiner
questioned whether clearing the room was necessary in that
instance, Clark replied that "what the county attorney
wishes to discuss should not be discussed in open session."
Wilson, public safety
director Guy Sapp and county solicitor Carol Dulin remained
for the executive session.
Clark said later that he
referred to potential litigation as a matter of course. He
had not been personally briefed beforehand "and didn't know
what was coming," he said.