BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s City Council President released transcripts of 35 interviews conducted in Fort Worth, Texas last month—part of an unprecedented vetting of the mayor’s choice to lead the police force.

Nominee Joel Fitzgerald is currently the chief in Fort Worth and will be in Baltimore later this week and next week for a series of community meetings and public hearings.

City councilman Bernard Young tweeted the report Tuesday morning.

FULL REPORT: Background Interviews on Dr_Joel Fitzgerald

The reactions to Fitzgerald in the interviews were mixed.

One Fort Worth city council member, Brian Byrd, said Fitzgerald could be “thin-skinned.”

“I’ve asked him a couple of times in a public meeting where I was disappointed with something that happened. Sometimes he did well and sometimes he didn’t,” Byrd said.

The reactions to Fitzgerald in the interviews were mixed.

One Fort Worth city council member, Brian Byrd, said Fitzgerald could be “thin-skinned.”

“I’ve asked him a couple of times in a public meeting where I was disappointed with something that happened. Sometimes he did well and sometimes he didn’t,” Byrd said.

The mayor there, Betsy Price, said she was pleased with Fitzgerald’s performance. “I think he’s done an excellent job. I hate to see him go,” she said.

“He stepped in at a time that was really difficult. It was a time where we had our biggest racial incident. We’d danced around the edges of it. He had two of his top lieutenants who were accused of leaking evidence, and that’s hard for anybody to step into a situation like that,“ Mayor Price said according to the transcript.

Price said she was “not real happy with how this is shaking out. It was the response when he came back and simply demanded a raise. But I would keep him.”

Baltimore Police Commissioner Nominee Looking To ‘Mend Some Of The Broken Fences’

Baltimore’s delegation also spoke to community activists critical of Fitzgerald.

Dr. Michael Bell also told the Baltimore delegation Fitzgerald was “thin-skinned.”

“You’ll find out. He’s very thin-skinned and very vindictive,” Bell said.

Captain Vance Keyes—demoted by Fitzgerald after leaking body camera video in a police investigation—said Fitzgerald “wants to be turned loose to do what he wants to do. He does not like anybody to supervise him. He has a tremendous ego and very thin skin much like our president.“

Keyes also said “[Fitzgerald] will tell you one thing to your face and the next person something different because he is a master manipulator.“

Yet Roy Hudson, the former president of the Fort Worth Black Law Enforcement Officers’ Association, praised Fitzgerald for improving community relations. “It’s turned our department around… as far as the way we deal with people. I think as a whole we are light years ahead of where we were—especially in the small amount of time that he’s been here,” Hudson said.

Fort Worth’s City Manager and Assistant City Manager said Fitzgerald asked for a “substantial pay raise.” They said he was “genuinely interested” in trying to make a difference and they would judge him as “accomplished.”

“He is doing well but can improve,” according to City Manager David Cooke. “I’ve made him accountable for his budget. There are to be no pay raises if he overspends the budget, but the police department continues to overspend. It should be up to the chief to keep his department in line.“

Mayor Pugh will hold community meetings with Fitzgerald later this week.

On Saturday, the council will take input from the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at City Hall. On Monday, some Baltimore City Council members will question Fitzgerald.

City Council To Begin Confirmation Process For Baltimore’s Next Police Commissioner

A confirmation vote is expected to take place January 28.

Follow @WJZ on Twitter and like WJZ-TV | CBS Baltimore on Facebook

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s