Hammond police chief abruptly quits over 'philosophical differences' with mayor
HAMMOND - The Hammond police chief has resigned over an apparent disagreement between him and the city's mayor.
Mayor Pete Panepinto's office says Police Chief James Stewart immediately resigned after the two met Thursday to discuss their "philosophical differences". Panepinto said he had hoped for a "smoother transition", but Stewart instead chose to make Friday his last day.
The department last made headlines in September when four Hammond police officers were arrested and charged with malfeasance and payroll fraud.
You can read the full statement from the mayor's office below.
Yesterday I had a meeting with Police Chief James Stewart to discuss changes in the department due to our philosophical differences. I had hoped for a smoother transition in leadership, but Chief Stewart has chosen to leave his position immediately. The chief and I spoke this morning, and I thanked him for his service and wished him the best going forward. A search for a new police chief is now underway.