Luke Ravenstahl -- whose administration is at odds with the police review board over G-20 documents -- moved today to replace the entire board.
From Joe Smydo:
Mayoral spokeswoman Joanna Doven confirmed that the mayor is naming new members to the board, which is seeking documents from the Pittsburgh Police Bureau regarding the 2009 G-20 Summit. The group is in court now, seeking a contempt of court ruling against Chief Nate Harper.
Ms. Doven said that the sudden action had nothing to do with the board's actions regarding the G-20. She said that all the members' terms had expired and some do not live in the city. The mayor had given City Council members the opportunity to nominate candidates for the board, she said.
The Citizen Police Review Board was created May 20, 1997. The purpose of the Citizen Police Review Board is to receive, investigate and recommend appropriate action on complaints regarding police misconduct and to improve the relationship between the police department and the community. The board is composed of seven city residents, none of whom may be employed by the city or any of its Authorities. The mayor directly appoints three members and selects the remaining four members for appointment from a list of nominees submitted by City Council.
Asked whether the mayor is seeking a tamer board, Ms. Doven said he is seeking a diverse group that will represent the city population.
Here's the relevant language from the City Code
on appointments to Pittsburgh's Citizen Police Review Board:
§ 662.04 BOARD MEMBERS.
(a) The Board shall consist of seven (7) members reflecting Pittsburgh's diversity, who shall be appointed by the Mayor. Four (4) of the original members shall be appointed to four (4) year terms and three (3) shall be appointed to two (2) year terms, and all shall serve until the appointment of their successors. Persons appointed to fill vacancies shall serve for the balance of the terms for which their predecessors were appointed. All other appointments shall be for terms of four (4) years.
(b) All appointees shall be residents of the City of Pittsburgh, shall not be employed by the City or any of its authorities, shall not hold any other public office and shall serve without compensation. Board members may, however, be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the direct implementation of the Board's responsibilities. No resident who has been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor, excluding summary offenses, shall serve as a Board member. Persons appointed to the Board shall be fair minded and committed to the efficient and effective operation of the Board.
(c) The Mayor shall make appointments in the following manner:
(1) Four (4) appointments, of which two (2) shall be for initial four (4) year terms and two (2) for initial two (2) year terms, shall he made from a list of nine (9) nominations submitted to the Mayor by the City Council. Council will forward such nominations to the Mayor by resolution and shall do so no later than thirty (30) days prior to the effective date of this Chapter.
(2) In appointing Board members to fill vacancies, if the vacancy has been created by the departure, for whatever reason, of one (1) of the four (4) Board members appointed from City Council's nominations, the Mayor shall fill such vacancy by appointing the Board member from a new list of three (3) nominations submitted by Council. Nominations must be forwarded to the Mayor no later than thirty (30) days notification to Council by the Board that a vacancy exists. If the Mayor fails to appoint Board members within sixty (60) days of being forwarded nominations, Council shall appoint Board members for any existing Council nominated vacancies.
(d) In making such nominations and appointments to the Board, the Mayor and Council shall use their best efforts to create and maintain a Board reflecting the diversity in the population of the City. The Board shall be comprised of no more than two (2) persons who are experienced as law enforcement professionals. However, no Board member shall be a sworn, currently employed, law enforcement officer. When a vacancy seated by a law enforcement professional occurs, Council and the Mayor shall select a replacement member with a law enforcement background.