Atlantic City Council moved a bit closer Wednesday to finally acting on a civilian board to review complaints against police.
Three of the nine councilmen have nominated members for the board. Now, the nominees will undergo background checks, Council President Speedy Marsh said.
Each councilman gets to pick one member, while the mayor appoints two.
Council on Wednesday tabled a vote to update the ordinance, which was approved in 2012, even though no movements had been made toward seating a board since.
Issues were raised by the police union concerning some of the language, Marsh explained in tabling the vote.
The local chapter of the National Action Network approached council last month calling for immediate action on the board in light of recent allegations of excessive force in the Police Department.
The issue gained national attention when a lawsuit by a Linwood man resulted in the release of a video allegedly showing him being beaten and attacked by a dog during an incident outside a casino.
The board’s duties would include establishing accountability — by investigating and hearing civilian complaints on police activity — and an “early warning” or “at-risk” system to identify officers who have repeated complaints against them.
But the board also would “protect officers from petty and vengeful complaints as well as protect the due process rights of officers engaged in the complaint process,” the ordinance states.
Nominated were Rosetta Johnson, by Marsh, Jacqueline Sharpe by Councilman Sporty Randolph and Michael Mander by Councilman George Tibbitt.
Also Wednesday, council voted on the mayoral nominations of three directors, all of whom worked for the former administration.
Mayor Don Guardian chose to keep on Revenue and Finance Director Mike Stinson and Human Resources Director Doreen Tucker.
Ron Cash will return to his position as Health and Human Services director, where he was before Mayor Lorenzo Langford made him business administrator.
Guardian replaced Cash as business administrator with Arch Liston.
The mayor was not at Wednesday’s meeting, but he told The Press of Atlantic City that he is “proud that (Cash) is part of my leadership team.”
Councilman Tim Mancuso complimented the new administration for keeping on the directors.
“I think it’s wonderful,” he said.
It also was revealed that at least one more director — Public Works head Paul Jerkins — will be staying on. That vote is expected to happen at the next meeting.
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