AUGUSTA | In a carefully worded statement, Augusta Mayor John Laycock terminated the employment of the city police chief Wednesday.

Greg Cummins had been employed in different capacities in the city since 1978, officials said. He served as an officer and was named chief following the retirement of Chief Phil Cummins, his older brother, about 15 years ago.

Following a special meeting of Augusta City Council on Wednesday, which was primarily held in an executive session, Laycock announced termination of Cummins as an employee and chief.

"I have removed former city of Augusta employee Greg Cummins from his position as Augusta Police Chief," Laycock said.

Laycock directed any further inquiries to Augusta City Clerk Gretchen England.

England offered to field questions, to be answered later.

No reason for the termination was available, she said.

According to previous statements in council meetings, the police chief position is one which the mayor has control over filling.

According to a letter announcing the special meeting, the executive session was to discus pending or current litigation involving the city, officials said.

Details of the litigation were not available at press time.

Cummins and his department have had a tempestuous relationship with the last two administrations, including a push in 2007, under Mayor Wendell High, to have the department disbanded.

The 2007 push failed when council voted to keep the police department at the present size for the next 10 years.

At the time Cummins said he was pleased with the show of confidence in the department, by the public, which had packed the special venue for he meeting.

In 2008, Cummins' relationship with High came to a head again when Cummins asked council to back him in an effort to recover training funds, uniforms and equipment from an officer who had trained through the city but left the department for a position with the Bracken County Sheriff's Office, short of an agreed length of employment.

High offered to pay for some of the items himself, if council deemed it necessary, rather than have the officer return them.

One of the more embarrassing moments in Cummins APD career may have been when the office of Dr. Milton Brindley was raided by federal agents in June 2007, directly across the street from the police station.

Cummins offered few comments about the investigation or activities at the doctor's office.

A permanent Augusta Police Chief has not been named. Laycock named APD Officer Kelly Baxter as interim Augusta Police Chief, until a permanent replacement is named, England said. Baxter served as a lieutenant on the Maysville Police Department before retiring several years ago.

Attempts to get comments from Cummins and Baxter were not answered by press time.

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