by: Mike Petchenik Updated:
ROSWELL, Ga. - Roswell’s top cop has been put on administrative leave and has been told he has to resign, city officials confirmed to Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik Thursday.
Dwayne Orrick arrived in Roswell in February 2011 after 21 years as the police chief in Cordele. Petchenik received a tip Wednesday night about Orrick’s employment status, confirmed it Thursday morning and broke the news on Twitter.
Mayor Jere Wood referred Petchenik to the city administrator’s office for comment, and several calls to City Council members weren’t returned Thursday.
“We won’t comment on personnel issues,” city spokeswoman Julie Brechbill told Petchenik.
Petchenik reached Orrick on his personal cell phone after finding the chief’s city cell phone had already been disconnected. Orrick told Petchenik he couldn’t comment on the situation until after it was resolved.
“I’m sort of shocked,” said Cliff Hardwick, a Roswell attorney who has several clients suing the city and police department in several different cases. “I just hope that when they replace the chief, if they’re going to replace him, that we do a nationwide search.”
Hardwick took issue with the search that brought Orrick to Roswell, saying it appeared to be “custom made” for Orrick to get the job even though he was moving to Roswell from a much smaller department.
“You don’t go from Pop Warner football to coach in the NFL, he said. “That’s the equivalent of a small department to a department in the Metro Atlanta area.”
Hardwick said he believes Orrick may have been in over his head and unable to meet the expectations set forth by city leaders.
Brechbill confirmed that Deputy Chief, Rusty Grant, will assume interim chief duties.
Petchenik has filed an open records request with the city seeking Orrick’s personnel file, which may yield some answers about the sudden removal from office.