MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau says she is disappointed in Mayor Betsy Hodges’ decision to reverse her appointment of Lt. John Delmonico to Inspector of the Fourth Precinct.
Hours after Delmonico was appointed, Hodges released a statement saying she could not support the police chief’s decision.
The mayor said another kind of leadership was needed for the north side precinct to further build trust between police and community.
Hodges says she would have preferred to find out sooner of Harteau’s plans to appoint Delmonico to fourth precinct inspector.
The mayor says her decision was based on what she feels is best for the officers who work there and the community they serve.
Harteau says she appointed Delmonico because of the leadership he has demonstrated in his current role as nightwatch lieutenant over the past year.
Hodges says Delmonico is a great leader but what he brings to the table is not the correct match for the north side.
“She clearly disagrees with my decision and I understand and get that, but the chief is also a very strong leader and has done remarkable things for the city of Minneapolis,” Hodges said. “We disagree on this one.”
The mayor’s appointment reversal was the talk around lunch time at Sammy’s Avenue Eatery in North Minneapolis.
Shvonne Johnson says many remember Delmonico questioning Hodge’s judgement.
“It wasn’t that long ago when he accused her of being a gang member when she was actually just pointing to a young man who had changed his life,” Johnson said.
Pointergate, as it was called, pitted Delmonico, then head of the Minneapolis Police Federation against the mayor.
Hodges says her reversal of his appointment had nothing to do with his criticism of her.
“This is an issue about community and the Fourth Precinct, in particular, always needs care and consideration, especially given the events of the last few years,” the mayor said.
Hodges says she knows it is unusual for a mayor to intervene in police personnel issues but felt it was the right thing to do.
City code gives Hodges the power to make personnel decisions.
Harteau says if she must make another appointment, she will work to select a person who exudes the same strengths and qualities as Delmonico, whom she says she will continue to look to as a leader in the department.