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Dumped LAPD chief loses bid for council hearing

March 20, 1997

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Supporters of police Chief Willie Williams, who was dumped by a commission that criticized his job performance, are decrying the City Council’s refusal to review the decision.

``It’s over,″ Councilman Nate Holden said Wednesday. ``We have a weak council that’s dominated by the mayor here today. It’s rather gutless. They crawled into their hole and just refused to vote.″

Williams needed 10 of 15 council members to vote to review the decision of the Police Commission, which has refused to renew his contract for a second five-year term.

But a motion to review was never brought to a vote because of lack of support, said Williams backers.

Mayor Richard Riordan denied having anything to do with the vote of the commission, whose members are appointed by the mayoral office.

Williams, 53, the first black police chief in the nation’s second-largest city, failed to become an effective leader of the 12,000-member force, according to the civilian Police Commission.

The five member-board also criticized his reform attempts as sluggish and reprimanded him over trips to Las Vegas casinos.

Although the decision not to hire him for a second term was unanimous, the commission could have been forced to explain its ruling to the council if 10 councilors voted that way.

Williams lawyer Peter Ostroff said the chief was disappointed but not surprised by the lack of support. He declined to say whether Williams would sue the city for a financial settlement.

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