DETROIT – On Nov. 15, the Office of Inspector General received a complaint concerning hiring irregularities with the Board of Police Commissioners.
The OIG subsequently opened investigation No. 18-0050-INV. It completed and submitted a draft report on July 9 to all affected parties pursuant to Section 7.5-311 of the 2012 Charter.
Under the Charter, the BOPC is charged with providing “supervisory control and oversight of the Police Department,” including establishment of policies and rules, receive and resolve complaints concerning the operation of the Police Department, and imposing or reviewing discipline of employees of the department.
Moreover, the OIG says Charter clearly defines the duties of the BOPC, including hiring of its staff to ensure that they have the necessary personnel to carry out its duties.
The OIG's investigation revealed the 2016 BOPC abused its authority by delegating its Charter-mandated authority to the Board Secretary, which resulted in subsequent violations of the Michigan Open Meetings Act.
In addition, two staff members of the Board provided false statements to the OIG pertaining to the BOPC hiring practices in 2016, which is of grave concern to the OIG and also a violation of the Charter.
“As an oversight agency of the Detroit Police Department (DPD), the BOPC has the authority to impose disciplinary actions to DPD officers. Therefore, members and staff of the BOPC should be held to equal, if not higher, professional standard which exemplifies honesty and integrity that the BOPC demands from the DPD officers,” Detroit Inspector General Ellen Ha.
The present Board had the opportunity to correct the 2016 BOPC’s Charter violations which have been ongoing since that time, the OIG said.
"Rather than embracing our recommendations, the Board chose to contest our findings. Additionally, no information was provided to refute the OIG’s findings in the Administrative Hearings. Therefore, we are forwarding our final report, which includes the Board’s amended response to our draft report and a copy of the transcripts of the four OIG Administrative Hearings on this matter, to the Corporation Counsel to seek enforcement of the Charter pursuant to Section 7.5-209 of the Charter," said the OIG in a statement released Monday.
The final report including transcripts of the administrative hearings can be found by clicking here.