Estill Town Administrator Danny Lucas confirms to WSAV that Keith Parks has been formally discharged from his duties as police chief. Parks is no longer employed by the Town of Estill, a decision Town Council made in a meeting last week.
This comes after the Council placed Parks on administrative leave with pay and benefits on January 6, 2016, just days after Estill Police Officer Quincy Smith was shot and injured.
When NEWS 3 first reported that Parks was on administrative leave, Parks said the decision stemmed from the Council’s dissatisfaction that he lived and commuted from Lexington County, SC, to Estill each day. NEWS 3 has reached out to Parks for a comment but has not heard back.
Mayor Anderson Taylor says Keith Parks’ employment was terminated last week though he cannot provide an explanation on why. Parks’ employment ended just days after an officer was shot and injured; Taylor could not confirm the incident had anything to do with Parks being fired. Taylor says there is still work Town Council must do, discovering what they want in a police chief. He says the former Deputy Chief Mark Collins is currently the acting chief, and will be considered as a permanent chief but not guaranteed. They are unsure if they will look to employ a new chief, the Mayor saying they are “testing the waters.” He says Parks had worked as chief for about a year and a half in Estill. Taylor was uncertain as to whether Parks would file suit against the town over his termination.
When NEWS 3 spoke with Parks in January when Council placed him on administrative leave, he stated there was disagreement between the council and himself over where he lives. Parks lives in Lexington County, nearly two hours from Estill, and had been commuting. Parks said the council told him he must move into Estill, but said he was getting an attorney involved in the matter.
Stay with WSAV as this story develops.