David Bicking asked to resign from Civilian Review Authority
David Bicking, former Ward 9 City Council candidate, says the Civilian Review Authority chair is attempting to oust him from the board for speaking out against Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan at a forum in late January.
Bicking has been an unapologetic critic of Dolan in the past, particularly for the chief's failure to take action against officers in misconduct cases found by the CRA to have merit. But CRA Chair Donald Bellfield apparently thought Bicking went too far when he learned of Bicking's plans to participate in a forum titled, "Minneapolis Police Chief Dolan: should he be reappointed?"
Bellfield sent Bicking a pointed e-mail the night before the forum that said Bicking's participation would violate the CRA's mission to remain a neutral body.
"As Chair of the CRA I was surprised and caught unaware, as I believe other Board members will be, that you are an unsanctioned participant on this panel," wrote Bellfield. "This creates a serious problem for the CRA's mission, credibility and integrity. If you plan to participate, you will need to resign your membership from the CRA."
Bicking proceeded with the forum, contesting that he was there representing himself - not the CRA.
Bellfield does not have the authority to remove Bicking from the board, says CRA manager Lee Reid, and Bicking says he's not resigning.
Bicking has been on the board for about two years and is currently up for reappointment before Mayor R.T. Rybak and the City Council. In a letter addressed to Rybak and the City Council dated Jan. 29, just days after the forum, Bellfield criticized Bicking for commenting about Dolan in an interview with the Star Tribune.
From the Strib:
One opponent of reappointing Dolan still thinks that council will back him. That's Dave Bicking, a member of the Civilian Police Review Authority, a city body that investigates and makes recommendations on complaints against police and recently held a hearing on the reappointment. "I don't think there's any significant opposition to this on the council," he said
Bicking says he is uncertain of whether he will have a future with the CRA past March when he expects to hear a verdict on his reappointment.
"Some depends on how much the city cares about public input - because I think there's a lot of people out there supporting me and supporting a stronger civilian review authority - and we're not going to go down easily," he says.