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New Haven acting police chief ordered to vacate position

Mayor says she’ll stay on until permanent replacement found
Mayor Justin Elicker said Chief Renee Dominguez will stay until a permanent chief is found.
Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 2:16 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 26, 2022 at 1:25 PM EDT
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NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – A Connecticut judge ruled that New Haven’s acting police chief should not be in the position.

However, Mayor Justin Elicker said Chief Renee Dominguez will stay until a permanent chief is found.

Clergy members held a news conference at 11 a.m. to discuss why they’re opposed to Dominguez remaining:

New Haven Clergy held a news conference to talk about acting police chief Renee Dominguez remaining in her position.

The City of New Haven’s charter said those appointed as interim police chief cannot stay in the role for more than 6 months.

“Although there are some mechanisms in the city charter that allow a temporary appointee to remain in office for more than six months, the clear import of the city charter is that an acting police chief cannot remain in place indefinitely,” court documents said.

The decision has nothing to do with her performance, but about the time she has served as acting chief.

The city said it is appealing Monday’s ruling and Dominguez will stay on in the meantime.

Elicker appointed Dominguez as acting police chief on July 1, 2021 following Chief Otoniel Reyes’ retirement from the position on June 30, 2021.

According to court documents, Elicker nominated Dominguez for permanent New Haven police chief on Dec. 6, 2021.

The Board of Alders voted against her as permanent chief.

“At its Dec. 6, 2021 meeting, the Board for Alders rejected the defendant’s nomination by voice vote,” the documents said.

Dominguez withdrew her name from consideration for the position on Dec. 10, 2021.

She planned to retire from New Haven police when a permanent chief was found.

However, a replacement has yet to be found.

A lawsuit was filed against the city by New Haven Rev. Boise Kimber.

Kimber’s argument cited the city’s charter and its six month time limit on the acting chief position. He also pointed out that the Board of Alders rejected Dominguez.

The judge ruled in the reverend’s favor; but at a news conference on Monday, Elicker said nothing was going to change.

“It’s important to underscore, what are we trying to accomplish here. We want a new police chief. We’re working hard to do so. Let’s focus on the task at hand and not disrupt things and create chaos. We need stability as we find someone new for the job,” Elicker said.

“What I would say is illogical is having an acting police chief every six months when we’re trying to identify someone permanent for the job. We need stability now,” continued Elicker.

See the full court ruling here:

A Connecticut judge ruled that New Haven’s acting police chief should not be in the position.
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