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Boise named 3 police accountability finalists. It won't move forward with any of them

The city did not put out a press release about the decision.

BOISE, Idaho — This article originally appeared in the Idaho Press.

In April, the city of Boise named three finalists to be the next Office of Police Accountability director: Vic McCraw, who ran for Ada County sheriff last year; Mac Muir, who deals with civilian complaints in New York City; and Leia Pitcher, the interim police auditor in Eugene, Oregon. The city decided to move forward with none of them.

“I think that after the interviews with the panels and with the mayor and (city) councilmembers who oversee the office, they didn’t think any of them were the right fit for the office or for the community,” Boise spokesperson Maria Weeg told the Idaho Press by phone. “I think the next steps are to do a more targeted, localized search.”

The finalists were interviewed by Mayor Lauren McLean, City Council President Holli Woodings, Council President Pro Tem Jimmy Hallyburton and Councilmember Patrick Bageant, who together oversee the office of police accountability.

They also met with an internal panel, a local agency panel and a community panel.

The finalists were scheduled to be on-site in late April or early May for the series of panel interviews.

Weeg said she didn’t know when exactly the decision to move forward without hiring any of the finalists, which was first reported by the Idaho Statesman, was made. She said it was probably within the last couple of weeks. The city did not put out a press release about the decision.

The Office of Police Accountability is responsible for reviewing police conduct, investigations and retaining investigators for critical incidents, among other things.

The previous director, Jesus Jara, was fired in December 2022 for what McLean said was “unauthorized surveillance of community members” by reviewing police officers’ body camera footage.

Jara has since filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming he was fired in retaliation for recommending that former police chief Ryan Lee be placed on leave while Lee was being investigated for complaints made against him by other members of the Boise Police Department. Lee was never placed on leave and was never charged, but he resigned at the request of McLean in September.

A jury trial in Jara’s case against the city is scheduled for June 12, 2024.

Nicole Schafer has been serving as the interim OPA director since January. Schafer is a criminal prosecution senior manager in the city attorney’s office and has been serving as interim OPA director in addition to her duties in the city attorney’s office, the Idaho Press previously reported.

This article originally appeared in the Idaho Press, read more on IdahoPress.com.

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