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Charlotte Gives Up Trying To Convince State To Approve Police Chief's Retirement

Ana Lucia Murillo
The city of Charlotte has given up trying to convince the state to approve police chief Kerr Putney's retirement plan

For the last two months, the city of Charlotte has tried to get State Treasurer Dale Folwell to say CMPD chief Kerr Putney's retirement plan is OK.

But city attorney Patrick Baker said Thursday that the city has given up trying to convince him. 

"They have stated where they are with it in terms of not allowing the plan that was announced to go forward because of  their belief that the IRS will determine there hasn’t been a break of service," Baker said.

That means the chief could be retiring in three weeks – and the city hasn’t announced a public plan for who would lead the city through the Republican National Convention in August 2020.

"It’s really in the chief’s court now to decide what it is that he wants to do," Baker said. "I think he has gotten information that if he wants to retire on January 1st then he can’t come back."

Putney announced he would retire in January, and then take two months off. His plan was to return as chief in March, and work through the RNC in August.

That would allow him to begin collecting his retirement -- while still being paid for six months in his second stint as chief.

But Folwell said Putney could only collect his retirement if he had no intention of returning to work. The city’s written plan for the chief made that impossible, he said.

It’s not clear what Putney will do. He couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday.

Mayor Pro Tem Julie Eiselt said the city needs to know quickly so it can begin planning for the convention.

Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.