May 10, 2016 – Cody Dulaney
Some members of the Fort Myers police chief selection committee have been concerned about next month’s interviews being open to the public.
When City Manager Saeed Kazemi announced the open interviews last week, some of the four law enforcement professionals on the 10-person committee consi
dered dropping out.
But after several phone conversations, a legal opinion and a Tuesday afternoon meeting with city leadership, those concerns have been quelled, Kazemi said.
Now, the question is how will the committee interview finalists for the next Fort Myers police chief in front of a public audience?
Turns out, it will have to take three days, Kazemi said.
The first day will be a meet and greet for the police chief finalists and city officials. The committee will conduct open interviews on the second day. And because Kazemi doesn’t want the outside candidates to leave without talking to him, the third day will involve one-on-one interviews with the city manager.
It took some work to get to this point, however.
On April 28, City Attorney Grant Alley issued a legal opinion about the open interviews and sent it to top city officials at 10 p.m. Based on the city charter, Florida’s Sunshine Law and relevant case law, Alley said interviews conducted by the committee — which would result in eliminating candidates and recommending three finalists to the city manager — should be open to the public. [READ MORE]