ShareThis Page
Allegheny

Former Pittsburgh chief McLay facing pushback as finalist for Seattle job

Megan Guza
| Thursday, July 5, 2018, 4:57 p.m.
Pittsburgh police Chief Cameron McLay speaks during the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Tuesday, July 26, 2016.
Pittsburgh police Chief Cameron McLay speaks during the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Tuesday, July 26, 2016.

Former Pittsburgh police chief Cameron McLay is still just a finalist for the top cop job in Seattle, but he is already attracting attention over what some perceive to be a past full of controversy.

McLay is one of three finalists for the job of chief — a group that does not include Seattle's Acting Chief Carmen Best, something that has ignited ire among the community and the police, according to Seattle media.

“Best was considered an obvious choice: Cops like her, the community likes her, and an agreement between those two groups in this city is not easy to find,” Q13 Fox reporter Brandi Kruse said in a report last week .

McLay is being considered for the position along with Deputy Chief of Patrol Eddie Frizell of the Minneapolis Police Department and Assistant Chief Ely Reyes of the Austin Police Department. McLay is the only candidate who has led a large city department.

Kruse's report last week called McLay a “lightning rod of controversy,” noting the near-constant friction between the chief and the Pittsburgh police union.

McLay took over the Pittsburgh police in August 2014. He resigned in November 2016, saying it was time to “pass the torch.” The resignation came several weeks after the local Fraternal Order of Police voted they had “no confidence” in McLay's leadership.

The report also noted McLay's admission that he cheated on his recruit exam when joining the Madison, Wis., police in 1985.

Seattle's Community Police Commission has asked city council to postpone any confirmation hearings for the next chief amid “significant community concerns,” including Best's omission from the latest short list of candidates, according to My Northwest .

Best was among the top five finalists but did not make it to the final three. She was the only person of color and only woman among the top five.

According to the Seattle Times , the CPC has hired an independent expert to assess “potential legal issues or issues related to equal employment opportunities in the search process.”

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me