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Police Oversight Commission Members Call Independent Police Auditor’s Resignation ‘Disappointing,’ ‘Very Disruptive’

Published on Friday, January 14, 2022 | 5:49 am

Some members of the Community Police Oversight Commission voiced their sentiments and concerns following the resignation of Independent Police Auditor (IPA) Brian Maxey during the Commission’s meeting on Thursday evening.

Maxey, who was appointed to the commission in June, resigned just recently as he was given an opportunity to return to the Seattle Police Department as its Chief Operating Officer.

The resignation came just two months after the commissioners had formally convened to study their duties and responsibilities and discuss their priorities and work plan, among others.

“I know there were some mixed feelings about our IPA but the greatest concern I have is this change in the middle of our first year,” Commissioner Alexis Abernethy said. “We want to have stability so we can address some of the things that we need to, and continuity, and this just feels very disruptive especially, given that this is our first year.”

“It was very disappointing to hear about Brian’s resignation but certainly I understand these things happen in a professional capacity,” Commissioner Juliana Serrano remarked.

Serrano continued: “We’re just at our starting point. Just as things were starting to get good with us, we developed this list of priorities and we have our work plan and bam, he’s gone.”

Despite her disappointment, Serrano also expressed confidence that the commission will make progress in the coming days even without an IPA.

Commissioner Philip Argento suggested that the city employ a qualified candidate for full time or hire an outside outfit to function as IPA, to avoid the occurrence of the same situation. He said this will also address the “slowness in the process of getting information.”

City Atty. Michele Beal Bagneris said the city has already issued a new Request for Proposal (RFP) for a new IPA.

The proposal will be open for acceptance until Feb. 3. An ad hoc council committee will soon conduct interviews with the leading candidates before the city makes a decision.

In relation to this, Commissioner Florence Annang asked the city to consider allowing some members of the commission to join the ad hoc committee meeting and the process of choosing a new IPA.

Bagneris vowed to consider the suggestions of both Argento and Annang.

The IPA’s duties include, among other things, serving as a best-practices adviser to the (Police Oversight) Commission, reviewing categorical uses of force by Pasadena Police Department officers, reviewing investigations of personnel complaints of bias-based policing, and recommending changes to PPD policies, procedures, or officer training,” according to a city staff report.

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