An independent commission searching for Chicago’s next top cop didn’t give a follow-up interview to the city’s patrol chief, causing 19 Chicago City Council members to sign a letter expressing “disappointment and dismay,” reports the Chicago Sun-Times. The president of the commission, Anthony Driver, said the letter was “completely inappropriate.” “That is the Chicago way,” Driver said. “That’s exactly why our commission was created — and to rid ourselves of that. I’m 100% confident that every person who applied for this position was treated fairly.” The commission was created by the City Council two years ago. The City Council members who signed the letter spoke of Chief of Patrol Brian McDermott’s “impressive qualifications” in their letter after he wasn’t given a follow-up interview. McDermott is the third highest-ranking department member and the most experienced chief, the City Council members said.
“For a process that purports to be ‘community-driven’ as well as ‘inclusive, collaborative and transparent,’ overlooking Chief McDermott as a candidate for police superintendent calls into question the validity of the search process and community listening tour,” they wrote. Driver said the commission is on pace to deliver three candidates to Mayor Brandon Johnson by its July 14 deadline. He also acknowledged that applicants can be written off based on their backgrounds, and he said that City Council members “do not have access” to the same information as his team. Driver slammed the City Council members for using a public relations firm to send the letter to members of the media before the commission received a copy.