Seattle's police chief could be named Tuesday

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by LINDA BYRON / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @LByronK5

KING5.com

Posted on June 21, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 22 at 6:52 AM

SEATTLE – Mayor Mike McGinn may name his choice for Seattle's new police chief as early as Tuesday.

Interim Police Chief John Diaz spent an unusually long time with the mayor Monday morning - 90 minutes - fueling speculation he's the pick.

"The mayor's not made any decision, we're just continuing to talk," he said.

Diaz has 30 years with the department and the staunch backing of the Seattle Police Officers Guild.  

But his leadership has come under fire in light of two controversial videos - one last week showing an officer punching a teenage jaywalking suspect and one in April, in which two officers stomped on a suspect who was later let go.

In a highly unusual move - City Attorney Peter Holmes last week publicly called on the mayor to "rectify the leadership void at SPD."

It's a slam Diaz answered Monday.

"Mr. Holmes and I had a very good discussion, very straightforward discussion about his comment. I don't agree with him.  We have a great department and a great command staff. Whatever he thinks of me personally, that's his issue."

On the flip side, sources tell KING 5 the city council is squeamish about the outside candidate, Ron Davis, who heads a tiny, 39 officer department in East Palo Alto.

We're told a majority of council members have asked the mayor to re-open the search process. The council has to approve the mayor's pick and there's talk Davis won't pass council muster.

"This is not our appointment at this point. This is an appointment for mayor to make and once he does that we'll do our evaluation to see if we agree with the mayor," said Council member Tim Burgess.

Why is it taking so long? It seems everyone was thrown for a loop when the Sacramento Chief Rick Braziel withdrew his name at the 11th hour.  Many believed he was the clear front runner.

Whatever the reason, the longer it drags on the more the two remaining candidates are getting battered and the selection process itself is coming under scrutiny.

 

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