TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ The police chief at Florida A&M University is retiring less than a week after reports surfaced that Tallahassee authorities didn't receive timely information about an off-campus hazing incident from 2010, the school announced Tuesday.
The university said Calvin Ross will retire May 1 after 11 years with the university and 40 years in law enforcement. Ross, who previously served as police chief in Miami and later headed the state's Department of Juvenile Justice, asked to be put on leave immediately. He earned $98,520 annually at FAMU.
Assistant Police Chief John Earst will replace Ross on an interim basis.
Ross, 63, said he had hoped to retire in January to help with a family enterprise, but stayed on longer after the Nov. 20 death of drum major Robert Champion following a separate hazing ritual in Orlando after a FAMU football game.
The historically black college has been in turmoil since Champion's death nearly five months ago.
Just last week, FAMU President James Ammons was chastised by State University System Chancellor Frank Brogan.
“Occasions are too numerous to recount in this letter in which I have learned about significant issues at FAMU, by persons or organizations not in the leadership of FAMU,'' Brogan wrote. “When serious issues arise at a university, it is critical that my office be informed as early as possible.''
Brogan's letter came the day after Tallahassee police said they were unable to file charges from an off-campus hazing incident involving band members and two professors in early 2010 because they didn't receive a report from FAMU authorities who investigated that incident. Both professors are now on administrative leave with pay.
Tallahassee officer Shane Porter said the statute of limitations had run out by the time they learned of the 2010 incident, reportedly at the home of one of the professors. Tallahassee police said they found out about it through media reports earlier this year.
A FAMU police report indicated the matter was referred to city police because the alleged hazing occurred off campus, but Porter wrote that he could find no record of the case being forwarded.
Poor communication, Brogan said in the letter, was also noted in Ammons' most recent job performance evaluation by the FAMU trustees.
“I am fully committed to do what is in the best interest of the university and the system in reporting such matters,'' Ammons responded. “I have worked diligently to establish a protocol for swifter reporting and to solidify our relationship.''
As a result of Champion's death, Florida A&M has suspended its famed Marching 100 band, canceled a summer band camp and stopped students from joining campus groups during the spring and summer semesters. Longtime band director Julian White remains on paid administrative leave.