News Mayor’s Office Mucking Up the OPA Oversight Process?
posted by June 25 at 21:06 PMon
When Mayor Greg Nickels sent a letter to Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) director Kathryn Olson, asking her to look into allegations made in a leaked Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB) report - that Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske had interfered in an OPA investigation - it seemed as if the tide was finally turning. A day before he sent his letter to Olson, Nickels had expressed firm support for the Chief. His letter to Olson seemed to be an about-face. Today, Nickelsí office sent out another letter:
In light of the recent misrepresentations regarding Chief Kerlikowski’s
role in the OPA process, I would like to provide you with the following
1) A memorandum from Kate Pflaumer, OPA Auditor, outlining the OPA
process should any question still remain; and
2) Information regarding the number of cases in 2005 and 2006 in which
the Chief disagreed with the OPA Director’s findings.
East is a liason between the Mayor’s office and city council.
As of this afternoon, Olsen stated that her final report to Nickels was a ways off. It appears that the Mayor has already made up his mind before all the facts are in, which is exactly what OPARB accused the Chief of doing.
It’s possible the Mayor’s office is addressing the “misrepresentation” of Kerlikowske’s role in the oversight process, which Pflaumer’s letter explains. However, by including the second document - which states that the Kerlikowske has only disagreed with a handful of OPA’s recommendations for disciplining officers - it looks a lot like Nickels is going to bat for the Chief before Olson gets a chance to complete her report.