Rybak Defends Harteau Again in Spat With Union

Updated: 12/27/2013 7:13 AM
Created: 12/26/2013 4:41 PM
By: Josh Rosenthal

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is defending Police Chief Janee Harteau for the second time in as many weeks.

It all started with a new policy from Harteau; she wanted the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to handle high-profile internal investigations at the Minneapolis Police Department. Then the governor spoke out against the deal.

Now, in the last week, we've heard from both the president of the Minneapolis police union and Rybak -- and they aren't seeing eye to eye.

In a Star Tribune editorial published Dec. 23, Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis President John Delmonico says the underlying message of the policy "is that police cannot be trusted unless the change is implemented."

He goes on to say the policy would "actually do more to undermine the public trust than the proposed changes will ever do to restore it."

Now Rybak is speaking out. He posted on his Facebook page Thursday morning, saying everyone is better off when "there is an independent eye that gives the assurance we did everything to get the truth."

We interviewed former Minneapolis Police Officer Michael Quinn when the story first broke. At the time, he said "the good cops are gonna see this as a positive." He also predicted the union would be opposed to the policy but said he thinks Harteau made the right call.

"She's gonna catch a lot of flack," Quinn told us, "but I think the community should look at this as a huge positive step because now she can step away from it and the police department can step away from it and say look, the chips fall where they may, tell us the result."

We reached out to Harteau, Rybak, and Delmonico for comment. Harteau and Ryback did not immediately respond, while Delmonico said he stands by his editorial.

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