Mayor Brandon Johnson Names 7 to Police Oversight Board After Missing Deadline

(WTTW News)(WTTW News)

Mayor Brandon Johnson on Tuesday named seven Chicago residents to serve on a permanent commission that will oversee the Chicago Police Department as part of a new era for the beleaguered law enforcement agency.

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It is now up to the Chicago City Council to confirm Johnson’s picks to serve four-year terms, which are set to be formally introduced on May 22 and could be voted on by the full City Council as soon as June.

Johnson missed an April 7 deadline to make his picks.

Anthony Driver Jr., a South Side resident who serves as president of the interim commission, was tapped by Johnson to serve on the permanent commission, which is designed to give Chicagoans real control of the police department as part of an effort to build trust in officers and police brass and put an end to repeated allegations of misconduct.

Also nominated was Remel Terry, a West Side resident who serves as vice president on the interim commission. Driver and Terry helped conduct a nationwide search for a replacement for former Chicago Police Supt. David Brown, selecting Chicago Police Supt. Larry Snelling as one of three finalists. After his appointment by Johnson, Snelling was unanimously confirmed by the City Council.

Johnson picked seven commissioners from the 15 nominees selected by a 22-member committee, made up of one elected police district council member from each of Chicago’s 22 police districts. That committee reviewed applications from 120 Chicagoans, officials said.

The other nominees selected by Johnson are:

  • Aaron Gottlieb, a North Side resident and professor at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice.
  • Angel Rubi Navarijo, a North Side resident who serves as director of constituent services for Ald. Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth (48th Ward).
  • Abierre Minor, a South Side resident who served as chief of staff for state Sen. Mattie Hunter.
  • Kelly Presley, a West Side resident and lawyer who works for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
  • Sandra Wortham, a South Side resident and attorney who serves as an administrative law judge for the city of Chicago. Wortham’s brother, a Chicago police officer, was killed in the line of duty in 2010.

All seven commissioners must have lived in Chicago for at least five years, and the CCPSA must be made up of at least two North Side residents, two South Side residents and two West Side residents, according to the rules.

In addition, at least two commissioners must be attorneys with expertise in civil rights, civil liberties or criminal defense or prosecution. Another commissioner must have experience in community organizing. Two other commissioners must be between the ages of 18 and 24, according to the rules.

However, commissioners cannot have worked for CPD, COPA or the Police Board in the past five years, according to the rules.

Giving a board of Chicagoans a real say in how the department operates is the final change demanded by advocates to be put in place in the wake of the 2014 police murder of 16-year-old Laquan McDonald.

The commission has the final say on policy for the Chicago Police Department, but the mayor can veto the commission’s decisions. In turn, the mayor’s action could be overridden by a two-thirds vote by the City Council.

The commission will have the power to hire the head of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, known as COPA, which is the agency charged with probing police misconduct. In addition to conducting the search for a new police superintendent, when necessary, the commission is also charged with filling empty spots on the Chicago Police Board, which disciplines officers.

The commission will also have the power to pass a resolution of no confidence in the superintendent and any member of the Chicago Police Board with a two-thirds vote. That could trigger City Council action.

The president of the commission will be selected by a vote of the commissioners and be paid $15,000 annually. Commissioners will earn $12,000, according to city law.

Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | [email protected]

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