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.
For more details, check out KTVB.COM, and BOISEDEV, websites.
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Dec 9, 2022, 8:29 pm
If it was only so easy to fire the Mayor.
Dec 9, 2022, 8:34 pm
Nothing to see here move along…
Dec 10, 2022, 4:17 pm
Awfully quiet here — it also seemed to me Jara was doing his job. Seems like a lot of City business is being done through the courts these days. Just hoping the truth comes out.
Dec 10, 2022, 5:07 pm
If you listened to the mayor, you’d know the answer.
She stated “pursuant to Idaho code 50-206…”
So, of course, looking up 50-206 gives you the answer.
“Any appointive officer… may be removed by the mayor for any cause by him deemed sufficient; but such removal shall be by and with the affirmative vote of one half (1/2) plus one (1) of the members of the full council; provided, that the city council, by the unanimous vote of all its members, may upon their own initiative remove any appointive officer.”
EDITOR NOTE–We concur the mayor has authority to fire department heads. It is still a bit unclear whether or not she can make a motion to the city council. It would have seemingly been cleaner if the motion had come from a councilor.
Dec 11, 2022, 11:47 am
I’ve mentioned this not long ago.
We need to be both saddened and disgusted with the behavior and decisions of our elected, appointed and hired public servants. Saddened by the ignorance from our elected public servants in regards to safety, housing and spending decisions. Disgusted with the lack of transparency in general.
We have to remind public servants they work for their constituents. Not unions, developers and investors.
I think our elected public servants lost faith in Jesus long ago.
Dec 12, 2022, 8:17 am
So she wants to pay $800 per hour to investigate an employee that didn’t have any complaints? Yet she fires the guy who was doing the same thing? Am I missing something here?
Dec 12, 2022, 9:56 am
No, you’re wrong. The motion had to come from the mayor. Look up what happened with Susie Mimura 20 years ago for clarity bub.
EDITOR NOTE–Please share the history of the former city attorney. We had another reader say the CITY ordinance and protocol called for councilors to make motions, even if on behalf of the mayor. Is there a special rule for the OPA director? There was for the first ombudsman. That was to assure independent oversight.
Dec 14, 2022, 3:11 pm
VOR is right. It doesn’t make sense to me why Mayor McLean would hire an outside law firm and pay them a half million bucks to scour the BPD records for signs of misconduct, and then fire Jara for scouring the same BPD records for signs of misconduct, when that is literally his job function. Makes it look like there is another reason, and the obvious “another reason” would be that he didn’t back her play in covering for the prior Chief. And it isn’t like Jara asked for his head. Jara only asked for an investigation because the allegations were serious. She is sending a pretty clear message to the rest of her staff. Thankfully the ISP investigation was sent out of county for a review far away from the Mayor’s retaliation “splash zone.”