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December 21, 2013 9:05:21 PM
For the second time in almost a month, an Oktibbeha County law enforcement chief resigned from his or her job.
Mississippi State University Police Chief Georgia Lindley resigned from her post effective Dec. 31 after she was charged with driving under the influence Thursday.
Lindley will remain on leave until the end of the year. She joined MSUPD in 1979 and became chief in 2005.
Assistant Chief Kenneth Spencer was named interim department head Thursday after Lindley was placed on administrative leave.
MSUPD's interim leadership will continue "as the university evaluates the department's permanent future leadership structure," said Bill Kibler, MSU vice president for student affairs, in a release.
"We support her decision as one made in the best interests of the university," he added. "As always, MSU's primary focus is on maintaining a culture of safety, security and proactive community policing for our students, faculty, staff and our campus visitors. We have great confidence in the men and women who comprise our MSU Police Department."
An incident report obtained by The Dispatch states an SPD officer, Brooke Carpenter, arrested Lindley while responding to a call at Brewski's gas station on Miss. Highway 12 about a possible intoxicated driver or a medical emergency. While en route to the convenience store, Carpenter observed a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle given by an emergency caller.
"...I noticed that the vehicle had drifted onto the center line as it was traveling east on Yellow Jacket (Drive). I stopped the vehicle and approached the driver. I recognized the driver as Mrs. Chief Lindley, and I was quite clear that she was intoxicated," Carpenter's report states. "The vehicle smelled of intoxicating beverage (sic), and I could tell that her speech was extremely slurred.
"I spoke with (Lindley) and asked her if she had been drinking," the report continues. "I figured I already knew the answer, but she did say she had not had anything. I also noticed she had glassy red eyes when she spoke."
A portable Breathalyzer test was then performed, and Lindley registered positive for alcohol, the report states.
"I explained that I was going to take her to the station and offer her the test. (Lindley) said, 'It is what it is,'" the report states.
Lindley was observed by officers for 20 minutes, then she elected to take a blood alcohol test. She registered a .13.
She was charged with misdemeanor DUI and released on a surety bond.
Friday's announcement is the second major police shakeup in the past 30 days.
Starkville Police Chief David Lindley tendered his resignation, effective Dec. 31, to aldermen on Nov. 26 after aldermen placed him on administrative leave.
An internal investigation was launched after his wife, Georgia Lindley, hit a parked car near the intersection of Lampkin and Meigs streets on Nov. 26.
According to that accident report, Georgia Lindley was driving a black Jeep SUV on Lampkin Street before the MSU-Alabama football game when she sideswiped a Cadillac CTS sedan belonging to a Starkville resident and continued home.
Two witnesses, both of whom are Ackerman residents, observed the accident, the report stated. One of the witnesses who trailed the Jeep told officers the vehicle drifted in and out of its lane.
No alcohol or drug tests were administered following the accident.
Aldermen also approved a disciplinary action against SPD Master Sgt. Shawn Word earlier this month.
Although the board did not disclose the nature of the action or what led to it, Word was listed as the investigating officer on the uniform crash report for Georgia Lindley's November wreck.
The board accepted David Lindley's resignation, ordered him to clean out his desk under Interim Chief John Outlaw's watch and release his service revolver and uniform. Aldermen also barred him from speaking to SPD employees or entering the facility.
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch
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