Fla. police chief retires as misconduct charges loom

FRUITLAND PARK -- Under fire amid accusations he acquired bogus degrees from an online university, police Chief Mark Isom told the Orlando Sentinel Wednesday morning that he is putting in his retirement papers and would leave his post at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Isom ends his 26-year career in his hometown after a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation revealed he made false claims about the legitimacy of two college degrees he had acquired. The city placed Isom on paid leave Friday.

Isom received a notice to appear at the Lake County Court on Dec. 29. He faces a misdemeanor charge of attempted official misconduct. If convicted, Isom could face up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

The embattled chief said he was working with the state’s attorney’s office on a pre-trial diversion proposal that would allow him to avoid having formal charges filed against him.