The Latest: Rejected ex-chief responds
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on a decision by New Orleans’ mayor to reject a controversial former police chief to head her homeland security department (all times local):
Former New Orleans police chief Warren Riley says new Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s decision against hiring him as the city’s new homeland security chief comes amid “rumors and untruths” about his character and reputation.
Riley was responding to Cantrell’s Wednesday announcement that she was “closing the door” on his hiring, despite his experience and qualifications in federal disaster recovery efforts.
Riley says in a prepared statement he had already been introduced to Cantrell’s leadership team as the new homeland security director when Cantrell told him she was pausing the appointment. That was less than a week before her May 7 inauguration.
News that Riley was in line for the job caused a backlash from critics of his police department tenure, including his handling of the investigation of shootings of unarmed civilians.
New Orleans’ new mayor has decided against hiring a former city police chief to head her homeland security department.
LaToya Cantrell announced in a news release Wednesday that Warren Riley won’t be hired.
Riley became chief in 2005, soon after Hurricane Katrina. He resigned as former Mayor Mitch Landrieu took office in 2010, ahead of sweeping reforms sought by Landrieu and the U.S. Justice Department.
News that Cantrell was considering him for the homeland security job brought opposition from critics who noted a scathing federal report in 2011 outlining problems in the scandal-plagued police department. Critics also said he failed to properly investigate shootings of unarmed civilians after Katrina.
Cantrell said Riley’s qualifications in federal disaster response work are strong; but lingering post-Katrina trauma made his appointment “untenable.”