FRANCISCO – Francisco Town Marshal Michael McGregor notified the town's clerk-treasurer by email at 1:04 a.m. Wednesday of his resignation letter, prior to a scheduled Thursday night special town council meeting to discuss his position.
The Thursday evening meeting has been canceled, and the town board plans to meet in special session at 7 a.m. Saturday at Town Hall to consider McGregor's resignation letter, which is dated Nov. 27, according to a notice from the clerk-treasurer's office.
His resignation follows a "loud discussion" at the council's November meeting. Soon after that meeting, many citizens began rallying in McGregor's defense on social media amid rumors he was being forced out by the council.
Town Council President Vance Lloyd, who is a former town marshal, said Wednesday that the council might seek an interim marshal until the process for finding and hiring a new full-time marshal can be completed. He said an interim marshal would be a trained officer from the area to step in and take over the department for the time being.
Lloyd declined to speculate on what the board might do because the members have yet to consult the town's lawyer, James McDonald, or discuss the matter fully.
Lisa Hill, an administrator for the Saving Francisco's Town Marshal Facebook group, which grew to over 400 members in about a week, said she understands why McGregor resigned. "His choices were to quit and keep his good law enforcement name or be fired and not keep it," she said.
She said she has spoken with McGregor, who said he would agree to be town marshal at a later date with a different council.
A different council is what Hill said she wants to see for the town.
She added that when council members argued in favor of annexation at the two public hearings held on that issue, one major benefit cited was the police protection. She worries the town won't be protected now and speeders won't be caught in the school zone anymore. "We could be stuck with nobody for two years," she said.
Lloyd said the town will seek an interim marshal to serve between a few weeks and a few months until a new full-time marshal can be hired.
McGregor has declined public comment on the issue.