Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rahm Emanuel, "Maybe I will hit the streets and clean up Chicago... Who needs a top cop?"

Emanuel expands search for top cop
Mayor-elect interviews Newark chief, White House drug czar

Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel has expanded his search for police superintendent to include more candidates with national reputations.

Emanuel has interviewed Newark, N.J., chief Garry McCarthy, who was a finalist for the Chicago job in 2003, as well as President Barack Obama's drug czar, R. Gil Kerlikowske, the former chief of police for Buffalo, N.Y., and Seattle. He is also considering a handful of high-ranking officials from within the Chicago Police Department, but a source familiar with Emanuel's search said Chicago connections are not as critical as they once were.

More candidates from outside Chicago became interested in the job in recent weeks after Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey took himself out of the running. Several high-profile candidates around the country saw Ramsey, a former Chicago deputy superintendent, as a shoo-in.

Emanuel named the head of the Rochester, N.Y., schools to take over Chicago Public Schools on Monday, and quickly followed up Tuesday by announcing his management team for the Chicago Transit Authority. But arriving at a choice for police superintendent is a more complicated process because of the formal role played by the Chicago Police Board, which must interview candidates and recommend three superintendent finalists.

Emanuel has been running a separate but parallel selection process while the police board goes about its work. He has been outspoken about picking his own top cop, sending a clear message that he expects the board's list of finalists to contain his own shortlist picks. The police board, which is appointed by the mayor and is currently headed by a City Hall lobbyist, does not have a record of opposing the mayor on the top cop selection.

Kerlikowske had an interview with Emanuel over the weekend, sources confirmed. McCarthy, whose national reputation has risen during his time in Newark, was a deputy commissioner of the New York Police Department when he last competed for the Chicago job. In 2006 he became chief in Newark, a city of 277,000.

Emanuel had previously stressed Chicago connections as an important criterion for the job, along with experience doing real police work on the street.

Later this week Emanuel will name Lois Scott as a top budget adviser, according to a transition aide. Scott is president of the financial advisory firm Scott Balice Strategies.

Posted by Det. Shaved Longcock

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