Woodway: Police chief resigns after inappropriate comments to employee
As part of accepting responsibility for making "inappropriate comments to an employee," Woodway’s longtime City Manager and Public Safety Director, Yousry "Yost" Zakhary, has resigned as the city’s chief of police but not as the city's manager.
City Attorney Mike Dixon read Zakhary's resignation letter during Monday night’s city council meeting following a two-hour, closed-door executive session, citing inappropriate comments to an employee.
It's unknown what the comments were, but sources close to the department said they involved a female employee and were of a sexual nature, adding the harassment was more than verbal.
They also said the woman's complaint against Zakhary was substantiated following an internal investigation.
The city was addressing the issue by "the acceleration of his resignation as Director of the Public Safety Department, and by retraining and review," according to Dixon.
Neither the council nor the Mayor would comment on the resignation citing personnel issues, however, they did say Zakhary would stay on as City Manager.
No explanation was provided.
Council members accepted the resignation unanimously, which goes into effect April 11.
About a dozen members of the small agency came to the meeting to show the complainant support; none would comment, some expressing they were fearful for their jobs.
While Zakhary was at the meeting initially, he secretly left out of the back of Woodway City Hall where one of his officers was there waiting in a vehicle to pick him up.
In his absence, Dixon read his resignation letter aloud.
"I believe this is in the best interest of the department and my own health," Zakhary said in his resignation letter to council. "I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve."
Last month, Zakhary had triple bypass surgery in Dallas after suffering a heart attack the year before.
Assistant Chief Bret Crook has been the Acting Chief during Zakhary's medical leave and will continue to run the department when the resignation goes into effect.
The agency employs about 38 people including officers, dispatchers, and office staff.
Zakhary started his law enforcement career as a dispatcher with the Woodway DPS in 1979 and worked his way up to the chief position in 1985.
He’s a graduate of Baylor University and the FBI National Academy.
Zakhary served as President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police from 2013-2014, has been an Adjunct Professor at Baylor University and McLennan Community College, served as chair for the M.C.C. Law Enforcement Advisory Committee Board, has been a board member for the Texas Mental Health Retardation (MHMR), served as president for the Waco Westside Rotary Club, and served as the Board President of the McLennan County E-9-1-1 Board of Managers since its inception in 1986.