Wes Snyder, the longtime police chief in Cleveland, Tenn., announced his sudden retirement Dec. 6 after evidence surfaced that he had been conducting an extramarital affair with the executive director of a local nonprofit organization inside a self-storage unit at Rhodes Climate Controlled Storage.
The unit belonged to MainStreet Cleveland, an organization dedicated to the revitalization and promotion of the city’s historic downtown area. Security video captured Snyder and MainStreet’s Sharon Marr visiting the unit together several times in November and early December for about 60 to 90 minutes at a time.
According to news reports, several personal items were found inside the unit, including an area rug, a blanket and pillows. Other items included a bottle of brandy, baby wipes, paper towels, a handheld mirror and a hairbrush.
Employees at the self-storage facility said they found evidence that the unit was being occupied during business hours, which is a violation of its rental agreement, according to a written statement from Rhodes Storage. The company alerted authorities and then cooperated with the ensuing investigation, which included handing over video surveillance footage.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy for this type of behavior in our facilities and strongly feel that appropriate action was taken,” Rhodes officials said in the company’s statement. “It is our number one priority to provide safe, clean, secured storage for our valued customers.”
Snyder is married and has served for 33 years on the Cleveland police force, including nearly a decade as chief. Marr is single. Both offered apologies in front of the city council last week.
“I made a terrible mistake with a very dear and very good friend,” Snyder told the council. “It plunged all of us into circumstances that are horrible, to say the least. I take full responsibility and complete responsibility for my actions. Without a doubt I have used poor judgment in this matter. So I stand here today and I will ask you for your forgiveness.”
“This is a very personal matter that has played out in a horrific way, and we are just going to heal and move through it,” Marr said. “Please accept my sincerest apologies.”
Joe Burton, president of MainStreet, said the organization is conducting its own investigation. The city is a major stockholder of the organization, providing MainStreet with office space and an annual donation of $25,000.