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Riviera Beach police chief takes to Facebook to defend legacy

Posted at 4:11 AM, Jan 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-03 04:15:01-05

Riviera Beach Police Chief Clarence Williams, who is scheduled to retire in February, took to the Riviera Beach Police Department's Facebook page to defend his legacy.

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"A former state attorney now sees me and says: 'Chief, I don't know what you did, but you have transformed a police agency,'" Williams said in one of three clips on Facebook. "You know I'm reminded of George W. Bush when he was asked that very same question about his presidential legacy. And he simply said history will take care of that." 

Not once in the nearly eight-minute speech does Williams address the vote of no confidence against him. On Oct. 5, Riviera Beach police officers voted overwhelmingly that they had no confidence in Williams' leadership and wanted him to step down.

This after a WPTV investigation which found Williams participated in a secret meeting at Hurst Chapel on Sept. 28. Sources say the meeting was to make sure that former City Manager Jonathan Evans would not get his job back. 

Williams denied knowing anything about the meeting when he was confronted outside of Hurst Chapel. 

"I've come and gone and you couldn't have seen me," Williams said on Sept. 28.

John Kazanjiaan, President of the Police Benevolent Association said officers are fed up with Williams' political motivations. 

“He (Chief Williams) is behind it all," Kazanjiaan said on Oct. 6. "Because he wants to be the city manager. He wants Alex Freeman to be the chief. But guess what? It’s done. It’s over.”

Then in a news conference on Oct. 10, Williams slammed his own officers and defended his brand. 

"Officers who endanger the lives of babies by not responding timely," Williams said on Oct. 10. 

In his speech on Facebook, Williams mentioned none of that.

"For me the low point has been not being able to do all we could do in terms of community outreach," Williams said. 

Not once in the speech did he thank his men and women. Something that didn't go unnoticed. 
Former Assistant Police Chief David Harris commented on the post. 

"Riviera Beach Police Department has always been a leader in Palm Beach County Law Enforcement," Harris said in the post. "Well, before I was hired in 1979, throughout my 35-year career, and will be well into the future. Not one officer, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, major, assistant chief, or chief can claim credit solely for accolades earned by the hard work of all the employees of the department."

That post was later taken down by the department. 

Harris said he had no further comment beyond what he said in the post.