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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sources Say Pugel's Out, New Interim Police Chief Will Be Announced Tomorrow

Posted by on Tue, Jan 7, 2014 at 4:14 PM

From KIRO 7, who broke the beginning of this story over the weekend and just got the rest of it out a few minutes ago*:

Harry Bailey, a former assistant chief and longtime Seattle police veteran, will be named interim police chief Wednesday by new mayor Ed Murray, sources tell KIRO 7.

KIRO 7 reported last week that Murray planned to name a new interim Seattle police chief on Tuesday, but in a tweet to KIRO 7 the mayor said he’s made “no decision on an interim chief.” A spokesman later said a Tuesday press briefing to discuss police reform and leadership was cancelled after KIRO 7’s report.

In addition to being assistant chief, Bailey also served as a Seattle Police Officers Guild vice president and left the department in 2007 to become security director for the Seattle Supersonics. But he returned to Seattle police in 2012 after Mayor Mike McGinn asked him to oversee the city’s 20/20 reform plan.

Bailey, who turns 70 this year and started with the department in 1969, also working on former Chief Gil Kerlikowske’s command staff overseeing police precincts and has volunteered as security director at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Seattle.

Murray’s staff acknowledged that there was talk of appointing a new interim chief, but the mayor said a decision had not been made and that the job had not been offered. Police said there was talk of Bailey taking the job, be a department spokesman said he declined.

*As commenter bigyaz notes, the Seattle Times appears to have gotten this out first. Good fucking work, guys!

Asked to confirm the news, Murray press secretary Rosalind Brazel offered a simple "No comment." She did say that the original press conference, set for today, was canceled because "the mayor wanted to consider the ramifications of Pugel applying in his position as interim chief." But a city hall source confirms that Bailey will indeed be announced as new interim chief tomorrow.

This is all happening because Murray has said that someone serving as interim police chief wouldn't be considered for the permanent job; Pugel has been open that he wants to apply for the position. But as Dominic reported in December, the ramifications will be interesting. If Pugel does step down and Bailey steps up, will Bailey be a lame-duck chief?

Also: Why has Murray been running away from this? He was all set to announce everything this morning, then KIRO scooped him and he canceled it. Now they've just done it all over again with even more information than last time. Just have your presser and be done with it, Mayor, jeez. Word is that'll come tomorrow morning, but Brazel says, "We have not rescheduled the press conference."


Comments (14) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Times had it more than an hour ago, before KIRO.
Posted by bigyaz on January 7, 2014 at 4:20 PM · Report this
trstr 2
Bailey's the guy who backed SPOG lawsuits against five people - including a 16 year old girl - who brought complaints against his officers. Truly an excellent choice for Murray, and more of the same old shit.
Posted by trstr on January 7, 2014 at 4:42 PM · Report this
seatackled 3
Is Rich O'Neill coming out of retirement soon?
Posted by seatackled on January 7, 2014 at 4:46 PM · Report this
@2: Word. Murray is so clearly not ready for prime time on this issue. He's making stupid decisions rapidly just to demonstrate that he can make decisions and be in charge. This is not helpful to SPD, the city of Seattle, or to him.
Posted by gnossos on January 7, 2014 at 4:51 PM · Report this
All I know is, if George Bailey hadn't saved Harry's life when he fell through the ice all those years ago, then Harry wouldn't be here to be our interim chief today.
Posted by Hapablap on January 7, 2014 at 4:59 PM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 6
Benefit..of doubt…ebbing...
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on January 7, 2014 at 5:25 PM · Report this
litlnemo 7
@5: Ha. First thing I thought of. "Harry wasn't there to save them because you weren't there to save Harry!"
Posted by litlnemo on January 7, 2014 at 5:49 PM · Report this
Oh, well, the mastermind behind implementing the 20/20 plan sounds peachy. Look, they're so busy with that they haven't updated their website with any news since June 20th.
Posted by ChefJoe on January 7, 2014 at 6:59 PM · Report this
Kinison 9
So what was the reason why McGinn refused to fire or demote the police chief and clean house? Oh right, he didnt give a fuck.
Posted by Kinison on January 7, 2014 at 7:12 PM · Report this
JonnoN 10
@9 do you know what 'interim' means?
Posted by JonnoN on January 7, 2014 at 9:10 PM · Report this
seatackled 11
"His predecessor might have sucked even more" is not a good argument.
Posted by seatackled on January 7, 2014 at 9:25 PM · Report this
Way to go to kick aside the most intelligent, cummunity-oriented, professional, and courageous guy who's run the shop for years, Murray. Benefit of doubt gone.
Posted by sarah70 on January 7, 2014 at 10:05 PM · Report this
@9: and replacing Pugel, who in his short time there has done more to revamp SPD than any previous chief, with a unapologetic defender of the old guard and SPOG insider (hint: see the article @2 linked), shows Murray gives a fuck?

OK, he may give a fuck, but he doesn't have a clue about what he's doing.
Posted by gnossos on January 7, 2014 at 10:28 PM · Report this
NaFun 14
@3 word. Pugel's been the best. This is a shambles and Murray is already a disaster.
Posted by NaFun on January 8, 2014 at 8:07 AM · Report this

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