Pastor resigns from Police Commission Selection Panel

Pastor resigns from Police Commission Selection Panel

Cleveland Pastor Jimmy L. Gates has resigned from a panel to select members to serve on a Cleveland Police Commission, just three days after his appointment to the panel.

Gates, a pastor at Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church, submitted a letter of resignation Friday.

In it, Gates thanks Mayor Jackson for the opportunity, but states that his "desire is for the focus to be on the process, and not on me as a distraction to the process."

Gates served time in 2009 for taking bribes while working as assistant chief in the Cleveland Water Division. He also pleaded guilty in 2012 in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme.

In his resignation letter, Gates also writes, "Yes, I am my past, but I am extremely proud of the accomplishments God has allowed me to achieve. For my past cannot and will not define who I am."

U.S. Attorney Dettelbach issued a statement on Rev. Gates' resignation:

Reverend Gates has made mistakes, but he is a man working to turn around his life and the lives of others.  His decision today deserves respect and removes yet one more imagined obstacle for those who seek to distract us from the pressing need for reform. 

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