Green Cove Springs police chief retires after racial comments

Manager: Robert Musco would've been asked for exit strategy had he not retired

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – Green Cove Springs Police Chief Robert Musco retired last week, in part due to an investigation into race-related comments he made to an officer, according to the city manager.

The issue came to the attention of City Hall shortly after Martin Luther King Jr. Day when Officer Kimberly Robinson filed a complaint with the city, saying Musco made numerous racially-charged comments to her, according to the document obtained by News4Jax. 

Her initial complain reads, "Chief yelled out and motioned to me 'Here's my token.....get in here token!'"

According to the complaint, the now former chief told her he was trying to get officers to a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration in Green Cove Springs and said, "I need my token there. You're my token."

She writes in the complaint that Musco said he wanted her to be present at the celebration and she replied, "That is my holiday....and I'm going to enjoy the day off."

Musco "quickly stated 'Columbus Day was taken from us for Martin Luther King Day,'" the complaint reads.

The complaint goes on to say, "There have been many instances" like this.

"At the end of the day, the report basically indicated and the chief never denied that the comment was made. For me as city manager, I believe that our process works. When folks come forward with issues that they believe is inappropriate, and they brought them to the HR department within 24 hours we began the process," Green Cove Springs City Manager Danielle Judd said. 

Within 24 hours after the complaint was reported to the city's Human Resources Department, Judd said, the city started investigating and hired an outside agency out of Tallahassee to investigate, which resulted in Musco stepping down on Thursday. 

If Musco had not retired, he probably would not have lasted long at the department, Judd told News4Jax Monday.

"I’m not saying that he necessarily would have been fired, but I would have asked for an exit strategy," Judd said. "I consider that kind of behavior inappropriate for leadership. I, as city manager, and the city of Green Cove Springs will not tolerate any comments of this nature, period. They will be dealt with immediately.”

Musco never denied that he made the comment, according to Judd.

"We're sorry to see the chief step down, but I accept his decision," Judd said. "I think we'll be able to move forward at this point."

Musco had been with the Green Cove Springs Police Department for 11 years.

News4Jax also stopped by Musco’s listed address in Fleming Island and no one answered. It was also discovered that the home was up for sale. News4Jax also tried his cellphone number, which has been disconnected.

Derek Adsot is now acting chief in Green Cove Springs. News4Jax called him on Monday, but has not yet received a call back. 

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