Jesus Jara, Director of the Boise Office of Police Accountability, was fired Friday at a hastily called City Council after they professed to lose faith in the director.
The overriding official reason for his termination seems to be that he was randomly reviewing copper body-cam videos “without authorization.” From the standpoint of the GUARDIAN we feel the guy was merely doing his job, but Mayor Lauren McLean is spinning his actions as being unwarranted “invasions into citizen privacy.” The mayor and five councilors interpret the city code as authorizing the OPA to monitor police records and video only in the wake of citizen complaints.
In an unusual move the MAYOR made the motion for dismissing Jara. The GUARDIAN doesn’t recall any mayor making a motion before the council. As we recall, the mayor can only vote to break a tie, so if the EXECUTIVE begins the LEGISLATIVE action with a motion it was possibly a violation of protocol(Roberts Rules of Order). Any legal beagles are welcome to comment.
Meanwhile Mclean is seeking half a million dollars in taxpayer cash to hire a consultant at $800 per hour to investigate whether or not there has been racist action in the Boise PD–despite no complaints filed alleging racist police action. This move comes in the wake of revelations that a retired BPD captain was affiliated with a white supremacy group in Tennessee. Deadline for the outside investigation report is AFTER the November 2023 election for mayor and council.
Media outlets, including the GUARDIAN, have public record requests pending for communications between the office of the mayor and the OPA. We have unconfirmed tips some of those records discouraged Jara from investigating an incident involving former chief Ryan Lee allegedly injuring a copper during a “restraining hold” demonstration. Mayor McLean subsequently asked Lee to resign following pressure from the police union and a news report by KTVB-TV news.
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