Gilliam decides against being chief of TPD

By St. Clair Murraine

Outlook staff writer

Antonio Gilliam

Antonio Gilliam isn’t coming to Tallahassee after all as its new police chief.

A dispute over the length of his contract, the language and the possibility that he might not have autonomy in shaping his command staff were enough concern for Gilliam to step back from taking the job in Tallahassee. Gilliam was hired on Dec. 4.

City manager Reese Goad confirmed Gilliam’s change of heart hours after word began to circulate about the deal being off. Gilliam, a Tallahassee native and assistant police chief of the St. Petersburg Police Department, was expected to begin his role as chief of TPD on Jan. 6.

However, media sources have reported that a memo from the St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway said Gilliam, 41, will take over the department’s Administrative Services Bureau on the same date that he was expected to start in Tallahassee.

Gilliam, who came out of the search with 12 points among the three finalists, has been reported to have concerns over the wording of his contract. Goad said in a statement early Thursday afternoon that he was surprised by Gilliam’s decision.

“I am disappointed that he has chosen to step away at this point in the process,” Goad’s statement said. “We will take the time necessary to determine next steps in moving forward.”

Meanwhile, Goad said Major Steve Outlaw will remain the interim chief of TPD.

In a tweet on Thursday, City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow said Gilliam could not get the terms that he wanted after weeks of negotiations.

“Antonio Gilliam requested autonomy of hiring/firing his command staff and a six year agreement in which he could only be terminated with cause,” Matlow wrote in his tweet.

Matlow also said that Gilliam had already put his St. Petersburg home on the market, while securing a home in Tallahassee in anticipation of the move.