Dover Councilman Wants Mayor To Step Aside From Police Chief Sea - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dover Councilman Wants Mayor To Step Aside From Police Chief Search

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DOVER, Del. -- A Dover councilman says Mayor Robin Christiansen should recuse himself from his role atop a search committee considering who will be the city's next police chief because he believes the mayor's impartiality has come into question.

Councilman Roy Sudler said he has filed a complaint with the city's ethics committee to determine whether his claim was valid. He said Christiansen's comments during a Jan. 9 police staff meeting indicated a possible conflict of interest. 

"I just believe that the mayor needs to step aside so that the process won't be considered tainted and will stand above scrutiny," he said.

Meeting minutes obtained by WBOC said Christiansen was angered by a Facebook post by Rep. Sean Lynn (D-Dover) asking why he hasn't appointed Deputy Chief Marvin Mailey as the next police chief. The document also said Christiansen was "clearly angry" about the press conference Sudler and Rev. Rita Mishoe Page held calling for Mailey to be appointed to the position.

Minutes also said Christiansen said "everyone already knew what his initial selection was going to be that he had respect for him and he was qualified, but now, because of the Facebook posts and press conference that person was now tarnished."

Christiansen on Monday admitted he made the comments but maintained that he would stay atop the committee. He said he believes Sudler himself may have to recuse himself from voting on a chief candidate due comments the councilman made that were generally supportive of Mailey for chief.

City code says the mayor will make the ultimate decision on which candidate will go before council for a vote.

"I will, until otherwise told, follow through on that ordinance, with fidelity and integrity," he said.

Both Sudler and Christiansen acknowledged the city needs to be careful in how it proceeds with selecting a new police chief, pointing to a combined $300,000 in payments to five high-ranking police officers following concerns in 2014 about racial discrimination after a leadership change atop the Dover Police Department.

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