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City Mayor Accepts Police Chief’s Resignation During Probe Into 264,000 Suspended Cases

Democratic Houston Mayor John Whitmire accepted the resignation of the Texas city’s police chief Wednesday as investigations into more than 264,000 pending cases began, according to the Associated Press.

These cases, which were not properly investigated, include more than 4,000 sexual assault cases. according to A.P.

According to the Houston Tribune, an internal department computer code halted investigations into those cases due to insufficient sworn police officers. report. The mayor’s office posted on Twitter that Whitmire still considers Police Chief Troy Finner a friend, but believes accepting the chief’s resignation is “in the best interest of Houstonians.” He also claimed that pending case investigations have “created confusion in the department.”

Mayor Whitmire, a former Texas Senate President, assumed his current position in January 2024. according to Go to the mayor’s biography page. According to the Associated Press, the mayor expressed confidence in the police chief’s ability to deal with the huge number of backlogs at the time.

Commissioner Finer reportedly claimed that he learned of the issue in November 2023, the month the issue became public. The chief also said he learned the department continued to use the code on Feb. 7, the newspaper reported. (Related: Father and son arrested on suspicion of shooting son of Dominican Republic lawmaker)

ABC 13 obtained a copy of the July 20, 2018 email sent to him and several other Houston Police Department (HPD) executives on Tuesday. The email allegedly indicated the incident was marked as a “lack of suspension” and highlighted a code issue. human resources. ” Trust in Finner appears to have evaporated after the email surfaced, the Associated Press reported.

Finner insisted he was “telling the truth” and said he “doesn’t remember” the emails until recently shown to him, according to a Houston Police Department press release. Although the email contained the phrase “temporary staffing shortages,” Finner asked the police chief “about the code and how it is being applied within the department.” He added that he did not warn him about it.

Whitmire said the revelation was the “last straw” and that Finner’s resignation came in “dialogue” with him, the Houston Tribune reported. Whitmire had promised to keep Finner as police chief during her mayoral campaign, but acknowledged it was a “tough decision” to make, according to the Associated Press. Whitmire claimed that the investigation into these cases “diverts the department from its primary mission of fighting crime,” the newspaper reported.