Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Charlottesville, Va., police Chief Al Thomas announced his retirement Monday after a report criticizing his role in handling an August white nationalist rally.
Thomas stepped down, effective immediately, after serving as police chief of the Virginia city for 18 months.
"Nothing in my career has brought me more pride than serving as the police chief for the city of Charlottesville," Thomas said. "I will be forever grateful for having had the opportunity to protect and serve a community I love so dearly. It truly has been an unparalleled privilege to work alongside such a dedicated and professional team of public servants. I wish them and the citizens of Charlottesville the very best."
"Chief Thomas has served his country and three communities here in Virginia with distinction and honor," Jones said. "He is a man of integrity who has provided critical leadership for our department since his arrival. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors."
Chief Gary Pleasants will lead the department until an interim chief is selected.
Thomas' resignation follows a 220-page report, commissioned by the city that stated Charlottesville's police were ill-prepared for the Aug. 12 white nationalist march and rally. A car struck and killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer, a counterprotester.
The report also accused Thomas of hindering the investigation process by deleting text messages, controlling the flow of information between police officers and investigators, and using a personal email account to conduct official police business.