Fresno remains committed to having a police auditor

FRESNO, Calif.

A Fresno County Grand Jury report indicated the IPA lacked the power needed to be effective. On Thursday city leaders responded to the report.

The police auditor was never able independently investigate officer-involved shootings. He could only review police reports.

While the grand jury report said the position requires more power - that is not the view of the city leaders.

City council member Andreas Borgeas said, "We don't have a report and that's unacceptable." Council members weren't happy a full report on the Office of Independent Review was never completed.

Eddie Aubrey was hired in November of 2009 to investigate officer-involved shootings. But Aubrey stepped down 19 months later.

Council member Lee Brand said, "We had the police auditor as almost as if he didn't exist. He was pretty stealth when he was here so I don't know if that's good or bad."

Not a good thing. The independent police auditor was supposed to be highly visible.

Fresno City Manager Mark Scott said, "We want to get out in the community very aggressively so that people in the community know there is an independent review auditor and that they know there's a place to take their issues and complaints."

In June the grand jury report concluded the OIR didn't have any real power. The report also said without authorization to independently investigate complaints, funding should be cut. But councilmembers on Thursday concurred with the mayor's stance on the findings.

Scott still believed a police auditor can play an important role in the community. "We have every intention to re-fill this position. Because of our budget shortage this year we've decided not to immediately fill it but we're already working on that."

Scott said the city remains committed to the Office of Independent Review. It is already looking at viable candidates.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.