Police board, city charter at odds

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

As Lewisburg's Police Advisory Board nears a decision on who the city's next police chief will be, questions have arisen about the underlying authority for the board itself.

Beyond issues raised publicly about whether the board has been interviewing candidates during private sessions in violation of state law requiring government business to be conducted in public, the City Council's vote authorizing the board was for a motion that reveals it is self-contradictory.

It's also contrary to provisions of the city's charter.

Police Advisory Board by-laws, as adopted Nov. 13, state that the panel is to "approve hiring, firing, promotions and demotions" of police department employees.

Lewisburg's Charter assigns those duties to the city manager.

Furthermore, giving the advisory board authority to approve something is contrary to the advisory nature of the panel.

See Wednesday's Tribune for the complete story.