Richardson has been on paid administrative leave since November pending an investigation by the Cobb Sheriff's Office regarding the sale of a police vehicle to the city of Braswell in March 2007. Though it could not be confirmed by press time, the termination was apparently in light of that investigation.
Richardson is appealing the decision to an appeals board made up of the mayor and City Council members, Eckert said. Therefore, he said city leaders would not comment further on the situation. Eckert said the date of the appeals hearing has not yet been set.
A late call and e-mail to the Sheriff's Office spokeswoman seeking findings of the investigation went unreturned as of press time. Late calls to Mayor Pat Vaughn were also not returned.
However, Vaughn earlier told the Journal that the sale of the vehicle pertains to city policy and the investigation "does not mean to imply that any crime has been committed."
Vaughn said policy requires any city surplus property to be declared surplus by the mayor and council and is to be sold at an auction. The investigation regards whether the vehicle went to auction, she said.
Vaughn said a certified check in the amount of $1,500 was received by Powder Springs from the city of Braswell, in Paulding County, as a result of the sale of the police vehicle.
The investigation was initiated after Vaughn was subpoenaed and testified in a federal court case regarding matters in Braswell. During the proceedings of that case, attended by Eckert, the mayor said discrepancies arose regarding the "disposal" of Powder Springs property. The investigation was then ordered, she said.
Richardson has served as police chief since his appointment in 1994.