Acting New Haven police chief ordered to leave post after court ruling

NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – A Connecticut judge has ruled that Acting New Haven Police Chief Renee Dominguez should not be in this position.

Mayor Justin Elicker says Dominguez will stay until a permanent leader is found.

New Haven’s city charter states that those appointed as acting chief of police cannot serve longer than six months.

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

The decision has nothing to do with her performance, but with how long she has served as acting leader.

City is appealing Monday’s decision, so Dominguez will stay.

Elicker named Dominguez as acting police chief on July 1, 2021 after Chief Otoniel Reyes retired on June 30, 2021.

According to court documents, Elicker appointed Dominguez to serve as New Haven’s permanent police chief on Dec. 6, 2021.

The Board of Alders voted against her as permanent leader.

“At its meeting on December 6, 2021, the Board for Alders rejected the defendant’s nomination by voice vote,” the court documents state.

Dominguez removed his name from consideration for the position on December 10, 2021.

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

A new leader has not yet been found.

The lawsuit was filed against the city by Reverend Boise Kimber of New Haven.

His argument was that according to the city charter, an acting chief cannot stay in that role for more than six months, especially considering how the Alder Council dismissed Dominguez.

The judge ruled in favor of the Reverend, but at a Monday press conference, Elicker said nothing would change.

“It’s important to emphasize, what are we trying to accomplish here? We want a new chief of police. We work hard to do so. Let’s focus on the task at hand and don’t 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 to have an acting police chief every six months as we try to identify a permanent person for the job. We need stability now,” Elicker said.

Eyewitness News tried to contact Kimber through her church, but got no response.

See the full court decision here:

City to appeal court ruling on acting New Haven police chief

State court rules on acting New Haven police chief


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