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Indiana News

South Bend Common Council Looks To Strip Former Police Review Board Director’s Salary

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Jakob Lazzaro / WVPE
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The South Bend Common Council has started consideration of a pair of bills that would strip the salary from embattled former Community Police Review Board director Joshua Reynolds. 

Two weeks ago, the council voted to move oversight of the board to the mayor’s office from its previous home in the city clerk’s office, at least until the election of a new clerk in 2023.

 

That sidelined former director Joshua Reynolds, who was hired by City Clerk Dawn Jones and faced controversy after revelations he was suspended seven times during his previous work as an Indianapolis police officer.

 

However, the council cannot directly fire Reynolds, as he’s an employee of the clerk’s office. And Jones said two weeks ago she’d create a new job for Reynolds where he would investigate police misconduct complaints and release his findings to the public through her office.

 

That may not even be possible under Indiana law, which specifies that the city clerk can only distribute public information related to common council activities.

 

Jones did tell the South Bend Tribune last week that she was “kind of misunderstood,” and actually intended for Reynolds to serve as a sort of community liaison who would collect and submit complaints to the South Bend Police Department’s internal affairs unit. 

 

But the two bills on first reading Monday would prevent Reynolds from staying as a city employee.

 

The first would strip the funds for his $65,000 salary from the clerk’s office, and the second would move those funds to the mayor’s office to support a new director — who would be hired by a majority vote of the council.

 

The council unanimously voted to send both bills to the Personnel and Finance Committee, with a hearing — and a potential vote — set for September 13.

 

Contact Jakob at jlazzaro@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @JakobLazzaro.

 

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