POCOMOKE CITY, Md. – Less than two weeks after starting her position as city manager of Pocomoke City, Jeannette DeLude has stepped down amid controversy over her hiring.
Monday night the city’s HR manager Jeff Gleason broke the news during the city council meeting that DeLude had stepped down on January 30th. Most recently DeLude had served as town manager in Greensboro, Md.
The city council had come under fire since DeLude started the job back on January 21st because members of the public had raised questions about why she supported police during the investigation into the death of a black teenager, Anton Black, who died in police custody. Although police were found of no wrongdoing, a former officer involved in the case, Thomas Webster, was decertified by Maryland’s Police Training and Standards Commission because he failed to reveal nearly 30 use-of-force reports he had at his previous job.
The former police chief Michael Petyo was also found guilty of lying to the state board about Webster to get him certified. DeLude had previously told 47 ABC that she only supported Petyo because she didn’t know he had lied to the state. “Anybody is going to trust their chief to do the right thing and give them the correct information, and that’s exactly what I did,” DeLude told 47ABC last week. “I would love to get to know the people and have them get to know me before judging me and give me the opportunity to show them what I good person I am.”
Last week Pocomoke’s city council meeting erupted when members of the Worcester County NAACP and Coalition for Justice for Anton Black showed up to voice their concerns about DeLude’s hiring. “I think it’s good. I think that she’s not fit for public service,” said Richard Potter, co-founder of the Coalition for Justice for Anton Black.