City Clerk won't fire Community Police Review Board Director, despite past suspensions

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - 7 suspensions in 7 years at the Indianapolis Metro Police Department, but should the new Community Police Review Board Director, Josh Reynolds, be fired for things that happened in the past?

That’s up for debate.

Josh Reynolds has already publicly said he isn’t going to resign. South Bend Mayor James Mueller then calling for City Clerk Dawn Jones to fire him. But she tells ABC57 that won’t happen.

“I don’t see a path forward for how this office can build that trust that’s necessary under the current director," Mayor James Mueller said earlier in the week.

Just days after Mayor Mueller called for the resignation or firing of the new Community Police Review Board Director, Josh Reynolds, for his past suspensions on the Indianapolis Metro Police Department, Dawn Jones the City Clerk, and the woman who hired Reynolds, tells ABC57 that’s not going to happen.

“It doesn’t change my decision," Jones said. "We’re at the point now where we have to keep it moving. We have to move with purpose. There’s no purpose to move in that direction. We have a board we have to bring in. We have a complaint system we have to set up and josh has already done a lot of work.”

She said it took time to get this board started and taking more time to find a replacement... is a waste of time.

'To just say stop let’s do this again is ludicrous I’m not doing that," she said. "To me, this is a distraction of what we really need to be focusing on which is a CRB."

Reynolds could’ve taken his spot with the mayor's office but there was a conflict of interest.

"Because he appoints the police chief," she said.

So now Reynolds seat is with the city clerks office - Dawn Jones’s domain.

“I can’t go into the mayor's office and tell him who to hire and who to fire and who he needs to call for their resignation. I can’t do that and he can’t do that either," she said.

Despite common misconceptions, Jones can’t be fired for her decision either as she is a full-time elected official.

“I do expect conflict or pushback because it’s change. We are working towards changing a system of inequity so this doesn’t surprise me but it doesn’t back me up either," she said.

Jones said she just wants to move forward because this is already on a strict time schedule. They have partnered with NACO (The National Association of Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement who has helped other citizen review boards across the country. That training starts on August 16th virtually. In-person training is set for December.

Mueller sticks by his statement – city spokesperson Caleb Bauer saying “as the mayor said before he believes it would be best for the community if Mr. Reynolds were to step down and allow this board to get back on track. If he is unwilling to resign, the mayor hopes the clerk will take action.”

His past at IMPD didn’t come up in the interview process but Reynolds told ABC57 previously that it wasn’t something he was withholding, just something he doesn’t want to tell to strangers.

Jones does say she hoped the hiring process went differently.

“It was a critical error on my part as far as involving the community more. I wish I had of... there were things going on in the background to startle me get me moving faster because I didn’t want this to be something that would be set on the backburner," Jones said.

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