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Denver Citizen Oversight Board decides to restart search for independent monitor

Citizen Oversight Board says three finalists were not "the right fit"
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Posted at 2:42 PM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 16:45:21-05

DENVER — Denver's Citizen Oversight Board, despite selecting three finalists for the city's open independent monitor position in early February, has decided to restart its search.

The group had originally hoped to select a finalist by the spring 2022 — a timeline that has now moved to late summer.

The Office of the Independent Monitor, which was created in 2004, is a civilian agency that oversees investigations into police and sheriff's office misconduct. It has not had a permanent leader since early 2021, when Nicholas Mitchell left the position. He was the independent monitor for eight years. Denver's nine-person Citizen Oversight Board assesses if the Office of the Independent Monitor is performing as it should.

In November 2021, Denver voters gave the Citizen Oversight Board the responsibility to hire and, if needed, fire the independent monitor. Since then, the board was able to narrow its search down to three people — two from Colorado, one from Oregon — on Feb. 2, 2022 before announcing on Tuesday that they were starting over.

"The COB takes this responsibility and the trust of our stakeholders very seriously. As a result, we have voted unanimously to continue the search for Denver's next Independent Monitor," the group said in a press release Tuesday morning. "We did not have the stakeholder consensus on a top candidate that we felt we needed to hire one of the three candidates."

It said it wanted to thank the finalists for their time.

The Citizen Oversight Board said the three individuals had experience and qualifications, but "none were quite the right fit for the particular challenges and opportunities the next monitor will face in Denver."

The Citizen Oversight Board said the community and city stakeholders will remain just as crucial in the interview and review process for this second round as they were in the first one. It is asking for "patience and collaboration" as it restarts the timeline.

Citizen Oversight Board's next board meeting is Friday at 10 a.m. Click here to learn more and listen in.