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Mayor responds to more criticism surrounding tape recordings

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Thursday the federal government said the case was closed and no charges will be brought against the demoted police chief Darryl Boykins or fired communications director Karen DePaepe.

Since then there's been a renewed out-cry for justice in the community, many asking that Boykins and DePaepe to be reinstated.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg, however, has made it clear that is not going to happen.

The mayor continues to defend the personnel changes he made. In an afternoon conference the said just because Boykins and DePaepe were not charged with a crime, does not mean he is not going to hold them accountable for making a mistake that brought about a federal investigation. 

The mayor said the good news is that no one was charged. The mayor went on to says the decision to demote the former police chief and fire the director of communications was a necessary step.

"If someone brings down such a big mistake that they bring down a major investigation on their department, they are not going to be able to get a leadership position in this department," said the mayor.

However, the way the mayor has decided to fix things has not been supported by many in the community, including certain members of the city council.

"It's been literally ten weeks plus that our city's been held hostage by this situation, and we need answers to free us to move forward," said Common Council Vice President Oliver Davis.

Davis said the council is now demanding the tapes be released and plans to use its subpoena power to do so.

"What I've been advised from our attorney and from what I have looked at I cannot see, according to the Indiana code, why we don't have the right to have this information," said Davis.

"I'm concerned that the council vice president might not be getting the best legal advice on this matter," responded Mayor Buttigieg.

Still, the mayor is not budging, maintaining that it is illegal to release the tapes or  listen to them.

"I trust the judgment of the experts we have spoken too. My city attorney, our special council and the man that wrote the law," said the mayor. 

The mayor says his office is going to pass the tapes off to the Department of Justice to allow federal investigators to make the final decision on whether the tapes can be heard.

"There are a lot of rumors about what's on them. There are five cassettes and I'm concerned about what's on these tapes. I want to know and I want the community to know, but it has to be done lawfully."

The mayor said what is rumored to be on those tapes is an ethical matter he will not ignore if the tapes are release to the public. The mayor said it is something that needs to be addressed, if true.

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