Former Chattanooga Police Chief Indicted On 17 Charges One Day After Resignation

Image Credit: @Chattanooga_gov / X & Canva

The Tennessee Conservative Staff –

Former Chattanooga Police Chief Celeste Murphy faces a total of 17 felony and misdemeanor charges just one day after she resigned from her position.

The charges against Murphy include one count of illegal voter registration, one count of false entries on official registration or election documents, three counts of falsifying government records, three counts of forgery, three counts of perjury, and six counts of official misconduct.

Murphy made history when she was named Chattanooga’s first female police chief by Mayor Tim Kelly in 2022., but her time there has been plagued with issues surrounding her official residency status.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation began an investigation in May after concerns about Murphy living outside of Chattanooga were originally brought up in March.

According to both the Chattanooga charter and Murphy’s contract, she was required to live in the state of Tennessee. In 2020, Murphy was a resident of Fulton County, Georgia, where records indicate she was still receiving property tax breaks during her tenure with the CPD.

The indictment states that Murphy’s initial voter registration form listed two addresses in Chattanooga. Neighbors for one of those addresses stated that they never saw Murphy there, and the owner of the other address is a police sergeant who says Murphy has never lived there.

Documents also show that Murphy’s driver’s license application and a residency affidavit from the Department of Safety and Homeland Security also had falsified information.

After claims first arose against Murphy, she changed her address to an apartment in Southside. However, she has never voted in Tennessee.

Murphy was booked at the Hamilton County Jail after turning herself in on June 27. She was released after posting a $19,000 bond.

“While the circumstances surrounding the situation have been challenging, I respect her desire to preserve the integrity of the Chattanooga Police Department,” Mayor Kelly reportedly told WZTV.

Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp posted on X, “Those of us who have been entrusted to serve the public have a responsibility to keep that trust. The Chattanooga Police Department is a revered law enforcement agency, and I am confident it will thrive again under new leadership.”

Harry Sommers, the current Executive Chief of Police for the CPD, has been named as Interim while a search is underway for a permanent replacement.  

4 thoughts on “Former Chattanooga Police Chief Indicted On 17 Charges One Day After Resignation

  • July 8, 2024 at 5:34 pm

    Just another diversity and equity hire . Did anyone expect this to work out ? If you did you haven’t been paying attention . I mean HELLO !!!!!

  • July 8, 2024 at 9:21 pm

    I thought the City did pre-employment background investigations on police candidates? Whoever at city hall that’s responsible for this waste of taxpayer money should be terminated immediately.

  • July 9, 2024 at 3:12 pm

    Wth is wrong with the folks in Fulton County, GA??? So much fraud in a concentrated area…

    • July 9, 2024 at 5:46 pm

      It’s called a sense of entitlement


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