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Former Chattanooga Police Chief Celeste Murphy’s indictment is a ‘sad day,’ mayor says

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The indictment of former Chattanooga Police Chief Celeste Murphy shortly after she resigned from her position is a “sad day for our community,” a Tennessee mayor says. 

Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp made the remark Thursday after the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced that a grand jury in his county returned a 17-count indictment containing felony and misdemeanor criminal charges against Murphy. 

“Those of us who have been entrusted to serve the public have a responsibility to keep that trust,” Wamp wrote on X. “The Chattanooga Police Department is a revered law enforcement agency and I am confident it will thrive again under new leadership.” 

The TBI said special agents started investigating Murphy’s residency in April and “determined Murphy knowingly entered false information on several government documents related to establishing residency in Chattanooga, though swearing to their truth in signing the documents.” 

FORMER CHATTANOOGA POLICE CHIEF CELESTE MURPHY FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES ONE DAY AFTER HER RESIGNATION 

Celeste Murphy charged after leaving Chattanooga Police Department

Celeste Murphy served as the chief of the Chattanooga Police Department since April 2022. (Chattanooga Police Department)

Murphy, who was sworn in as police chief in April 2022 before resigning Wednesday, was charged with “one count of Illegal Voter Registration, one count of False Entries on Official Registration or Election Documents, three counts of False Entries in Governmental Records, three counts of Forgery, three counts of Perjury, and six counts of Official Misconduct,” the TBI added. 

The agency says Murphy surrendered Thursday morning at Hamilton County Jail before being booked and released after posting a $19,000 bond. 

ILLINOIS POLICE OFFICERS WILL NOT BE CHARGED IN DEADLY SHOOTING OF UNARMED MAN IN HIS HOME   

Former Chattanooga Police Department Chief Celeste Murphy

Celeste Murphy resigned from her position as chief of the Chattanooga Police Department on Wednesday, June 26. (Chattanooga Police Department)

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly said Wednesday that he had “accepted the resignation of Chattanooga Police Chief Celeste Murphy, effective immediately,” according to WZTV.  

“While the circumstances surrounding the situation have been challenging, I respect her desire to preserve the integrity of the Chattanooga Police Department,” Kelly reportedly said.  

Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp

Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp says Murphy being charged is a “sad day for our community.” (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

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Harry Sommers, the Chattanooga Police Department’s current Executive Chief of Police, will now fill Murphy’s vacated role while the mayor’s office launches a search for the next chief, WZTV reports. 

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