CRC Internal Processes Work Group Meeting
March 20, 2003
• Internal Processes Work Group (“IPWG”) members: TJ Browning, Hank Miggins, Mia Butzbaugh.
• CRC members: Hector Lopez (CRC Chair) and Denise Stone (CRC Vice-Chair).
1. The meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m. with a statement that the agenda item for discussion is filling mid-term vacancies of CRC members.
2. Issues such as the permissibility of holding an IPWG meeting when IPR staff is unavailable and the logistics of producing and distributing IPWG documents prompted a discussion about the IPWG’s duties and powers under the City Ordinance, particularly in relation to the IPR Director’s duties and powers. Hector proposed a conference committee to clarify the gray areas of the Ordinance and the protocols. The conference committee would include Hector, Denise, Deputy City Attorney Linly Rees, City Auditor Gary Blackmer, IPR Director Richard Rosenthal, and the IPWG work group members. It would be open to other CRC members and the public.
3. We discussed the protocol for filling mid-term CRC vacancies. It was noted that, under Ordinance 3.21.090(A)(7), the CRC is the sole nominating body for filling CRC vacancies. There was agreement that any protocol adopted for filling mid-term vacancies should be consistent with this Ordinance provision. We discussed the integration of the new protocol into already-existing Protocol 02-06 (regarding CRC appointments and reappointments) as well as the possible revision of Protocol 02-06 to ensure its consistency with the Ordinance.
4. In the context of protocols that are potentially inconsistent with the Ordinance or with each other, Mia raised a question about the basis for the conference committee proposed for Appeal 02-17. Ordinance 3.21.160(A)(1)(b) provides that, if the finding is not supported by the evidence,
The Committee shall inform the complainant, member, IAD and the Chief of what finding should have been made. The Director shall schedule a hearing before Council for final disposition. The Committee shall select one of its members to represent the Committee’s viewpoint before Council.
Several people expressed the opinion that the Ordinance language is clear and does not contemplate an intermediary step of conference committee. There was concern that the additional step amounted to an unanticipated obstacle for a citizen appellant.
Echoing the Ordinance language, Protocol 02-01(14) reads,
If the Bureau declines to accept a recommendation of the CRC to reclassify its finding, the IPR Director will schedule a hearing before the City Council to review the recommendations made by the CRC and the position of the Bureau.
However, Protocol 02-03(13) reads,
If the Bureau does not accept a CRC recommendation, the IPR Director shall schedule a CRC conference hearing at which time the Bureau Command Staff and the IPR Director will have the opportunity to advise the CRC of any concerns or disagreements they might have with respect to the Committee’s prior recommendations.
We discussed the CRC’s role in limiting the number of appeals that come before the Council. Mia asked that these issues be resolved prior to the April 22 meeting for which the Appeal 02-17 conference committee is scheduled.
5. The IPWG recommends the following events be scheduled:
• A conference committee with the IPWG, Hector, Denise, Richard Rosenthal, Gary Blackmer, Linly Rees regarding the interpretation of gray areas in the Ordinance as they relate to the CRC’s internal processes. The meeting would be open to other interested CRC members and to the public. Hank will schedule this event.
• An all-day CRC work session to substantively evaluate the Ordinance and the protocols.
6. Hank raised that the CRC meeting agendas are too lengthy. Mia noted that the purpose of the pre-hearings is merely to determine whether a hearing is necessary, not to make factual conclusions, and that the CRC’s tendency to do the latter results in long pre-hearings. Hector said that the IPWG could recommend that the pre-hearings’ stated purpose be clarified and that tools – such as time limits on the readers’ comments – be considered so that this purpose is more easily achieved.