Some Council members displeased with selection process


POSTED: Thursday, November 19, 2009

The selection process leading to yesterday's announcement of a new police chief has left a “;bad taste”; with some members of the City Council.

Even after testimony by the chairwoman of the Police Commission, some Council members said they are displeased with the way the commission handled the selection — specifically, late additions to the pool of finalists.

; “;It leaves a bad taste,”; Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi said. “;There should be no cloud over it. ... I don't know how to clear it up.”;

Councilman Donovan Dela Cruz withdrew his resolution requesting a delay in the selection of police chief after the Council heard testimony from Police Commission Chairwoman Christine Camp about why two names were added to the list of four finalists forwarded by a selection panel.

Camp testified that the list was broadened in light of the importance of choosing the best candidate.

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

She also noted that city attorneys advised the commission that it was acting within its powers to do so.

“;The selection process was aboveboard,”; Camp said.

Camp apologized for not appearing before the Council on Monday, when the commissioners were busy interviewing the finalists.

Dela Cruz said he felt Camp had complied with the Council's request to explain the selection process, although belatedly.

“;What's clear ... is that the commission has the sole authority,”; Dela Cruz said.

Camp said she had no idea who would be selected as chief prior to the commission meeting yesterday.

Camp, asked later if she had any contact with Mayor Mufi Hannemann about the selection of a police chief, responded, “;Of course not.”;