Updated 7:24 p.m.

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Chattanooga Police Chief Freeman Cooper will have a to wait a little longer to learn his retirement options. The Chattanooga City Council deadlocked at 4-4 on a deal that would make Chief Cooper a contract employee for three years.

Councilwoman Sally Robinson, who was absent, could have been the tie-breaker. She is expected to be at the next meeting when the issue could come up again.

On Monday, Chief Cooper announced his intention to retire on March 31.

Mayor Ron Littlefield wants to keep Cooper for the rest of his tenure. Cooper earns more than $116,000 per year and would be able to draw on his retirement fund while collecting a check as a contract employee.

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Updated 6:00 p.m.

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - The Chattanooga City Council will discuss the fate of police Chief Freeman Cooper Tuesday evening.

Mayor Ron Littlefield wants to keep Cooper as a contract employee after he retires March 31st.

Cooper would get his collect his lump sum pension and continue to make his salary of 116 thousand dollars a year for the next three years. The mayor says it wouldn't cost the taxpayers any additional money.

But some council members say it's double dipping.

Chattanooga City Councilman Andrae McGrary says, "It's in the council's best interest to think this through and make the best decision."

Council members discussed the matter in a committee meeting Tuesday afternoon.  They could vote on the issue at the regular meeting or they could pass the issue until the next meeting.