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Police commissioner tells council that chief selection process was "above board"


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POSTED: Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Honolulu City Councilman Donovan Dela Cruz withdrew his resolution this morning requesting a delay in the selection of Honolulu Police Chief.

Dela Cruz made the withdrawal after the commission heard testimony from Police Commission chairwoman Christine Camp about why the list of finalists in the selection of a new chief was broadened to six candidates from four.

Camp testified this morning that the final list was broadened in light of the magnitude of the commission's task in selecting a chief and after the city's Corporation Counsel had advised that the commission was acting within its powers.

”;I felt more options were better,”; she said.

”;The selection process was above board,”; she added.

Two names were added to the list after a selection committee submitted a list of four finalists. Two members of the selection committee resigned after the list was broadened.

Some Council members criticized Camp for failing to appear before a council committee meeting Monday to explain the selection process, in light of negative e-mails and telephone calls about the commission adding two candidates to the list of finalists .

Dela Cruz said he was withdrawing the resolution because Camp had complied with the council's request to explain the selection process.

”;What's clear… is that the commission has the sole authority…How… they do it is solely up the commission,”;  Dela Cruz said.

The police commission voted unanimously this afternoon in selecting Capt. Louis Kealoha as the new chief.

Camp, in an interview after today's council meeting, was asked if she had ever had contact with Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann about the selection of a police chief. She said, “;Of course not. This is supposed to be about the commission and the decision of the commission.”;