La Porte police chief to retire; denies decision sparked by Facebook controversy

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LA PORTE, Ind. (WNDU) - La Porte's police chief will be retiring after 28 years with the department.

The announcement comes at a time when the chief has been surrounded by controversy.

The La Porte County Herald-Argus reports that Tom Owens' retirement is expected to be effective Oct. 1, and he denies the controversy over a recent Facebook post that spawned accusations of racism has anything to do with his decision to retire.

The post contained a photo claiming to depict Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and alluded to her being in contact with al-Qaida in some way.

The chief told 16 News Now earlier this month that he knows the photo is fake. He said he only posted it to draw attention to the fact that it's fake.

A new police chief will be appointed by the mayor at a later date.