Sanford Police Chief Billy Lee. (By Mario Tama, Getty Images)
By Douglas Stanglin, USA TODAY
The Sanford police chief criticized for his department's handling of the Trayvon Martin shooting case will resign permanently today, the city announced.
The resignation will be part of a separation agreement with Chief Billy Lee that commissioners will be asked to approve later today, USA TODAY's Marisol Bello reports.
Lee took a temporary leave in March after the shooting of the unarmed black teen in a gated community. A statement released by the city said City Manager Norton Bonaparte would ask the City Commission to make the move permanent at a special hearing, effective at midnight.
The resignation comes on the day Trayvon's accused killer, neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, was released on bail.
Also today, Judge Kenneth Lester released almost two dozen documents related to the case after national and local news media petitioned the court, Bello reports.
In one of the court documents, Zimmerman's lawyer requested the defendant be allowed to leave Central Florida. In a motion to request bond for his client, attorney Mark O'Mara requested Zimmerman's whereabouts be kept private by the court, the State Attorney's Office and the police.
Zimmerman was whisked away early today to an undisclosed location.
O'Mara said in the documents that Zimmerman is unemployed because of the news media's attention and threats he and his family received. The papers said it is unlikely Zimmerman will look for work when he is released. Zimmerman has no financial assets or savings. The court papers said the bond would be paid for by his family.
A redacted list of exhibits also included documents from two previous altercations Zimmerman had in 2005.
One was for an arrest for obstructing justice and resisting arrest after an argument with a police officer who was arresting a friend of his at a bar. The other was an injunction against Zimmerman by his former fiance after several arguments in which the woman said he pushed her and hit her.
The court records also include a request that Zimmerman be allowed to attend court in civilian clothes, instead of shackled in prison garb, to motions related to his release on bond.
The resignation will be part of a separation agreement with Chief Billy Lee Jr. that commissioners will be asked to approve later today.
"Under the separation agreement, Chief Lee would resign from his post, effective at midnight tonight," the city said in a statement. "The chief's resignation comes a month after he was allowed to temporarily step down from his position as police chief in an effort to aid in restoring calm to the City in the wake of protests surrounding the Trayvon Martin investigation."
A public notice for the meeting says only that commissioners would consider adoption of a "resolution relating to the police department," The Sanford Herald reported.
Lee stepped down temporarily on March 22 following a public outcry over the police response to the shooting of the unarmed teen by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.
Zimmerman, 28, was arrested last week on charges of second-degree murder in the case. He was released Monday morning on $150,000 bond.