I don’t know what’s going on with Mayor Murray. He really has to figure out how to get a handle on the police department. He inherited a mess, but his actions for the past week have not been at all helpful. And it’s still the gang that couldn’t shoot straight (emphasis mine).
(1) The mayor has placed an “indefinite hold” on his police chief signing any further settlements in officer-misconduct cases until further review, Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim told the council’s public safety committee; (2) the mayor’s office has also decided to reopen those six cases in which the chief decided to downgrade the punishment to “see if appropriate determinations were made,” according to the bureaucratic parlance of mayoral public safety adviser Tina Podlodowski; and (3) Deputy Mayor Kim told the council that city officials cannot find any paperwork confirming that former interim chief Jim Pugel tentatively downgraded discipline in those six cases, as claimed repeatedly in the last week by Chief Bailey and Mayor Murray.
Shit’s important and he’s got to do better. I was worried when the Guild endorsed him that it was because they though he wouldn’t, or wouldn’t be able to, reign them in and so far he hasn’t. The police ought to know what the consequences of their actions will be and they ought to do a better job protecting and serving the city.
And it has really just been amateur hour at City Hall. It was the way he got rid of James Keblas at the office of Film and Music. And now, while I don’t really care about it, the type of thing the press and insiders looooove.
A statement from Mayor Ed Murray on Thursday afternoon mourned the death of Jim Diers, popular former director of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods until then-Mayor Greg Nickels took office and fired him.
“My thoughts go out to the Diers family,” said the Mayor. “He will be missed.”
A few minutes later, a second urgent missive from City Hall regarding Diers: “He is alive and well.”
The Mayor had confused Diers with Joe Dear, a former chief of staff to Gov. Gary Locke and director of the Washington State Investment Board, who died of cancer at the age of 62. Dear was equally popular and warmly eulogized by his longtime friend U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash.
Again, I mostly don’t care: Some staffer made a mistake, and it was corrected as soon as they realized it. It’s hardly his finest hour, but it happens. Still, when you run a put-the-adults-back-in-charge campaign, there’s less room for this sort of thing.
And to be clear, I don’t want him damaged. He needs to be able to fight for a strong minimum wage, and for decent universal pre-kindergarden in town. And I suspect that too many more weeks like he’s been having and some of the people who supported him are going to start looking elsewhere. Maybe start looking at the next election, maybe going to the City Council to thwart his plans. Still, it has only been a bad couple weeks, and I think he can turn things around if he gets his head in the game.