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New Haven acting police chief ordered to vacate position after court ruling

By Evan Sobol and Matthew Campbell

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    NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (WFSB) — A Connecticut judge ruled New Haven Acting Police Chief Renee Dominguez should not be in that position.

Mayor Justin Elicker says Dominguez will stay until a permanent chief is found.

The city of New Haven’s charter says those appointed as interim police chief cannot stay in the role for more than six months.

“Although there are some mechanisms in the city charter that allow a temporary appointee to remain in office for more than six months, the clear import of the city charter is that an acting police chief cannot remain in place indefinitely,” court documents say.

The decision has nothing to do with her perfomance, but about the time she has served as acting chief.

The city is appealing Monday’s ruling, so Dominguez will stay.

Elicker appointed Dominguez as acting police chief on July 1, 2021 following Chief Otoniel Reyes’ retirement from the position on June 30, 2021.

According to court documents, Elicker nominated Dominguez for permanent New Haven police chief on December 6, 2021.

The Board of Alders voted against her as permanent chief.

“At its December 6, 2021 meeting, the Board for Alders rejected the defendant’s nomination by voice vote,” court documents say.

Dominguez withdrew her name from consideration for the position on December 10, 2021.

She planned to retire from New Haven police when a permanent chief was found.

A new chief has not been found yet.

The lawsuit was filed against the city by New Haven Reverend Boise Kimber.

His argument was that according to the city’s charter, an acting chief cannot remain in that role for more than six months, especially considering how the Board of Alders rejected Dominguez.

The judge ruled in the reverend’s favor, but at a news conference Monday, Elicker says nothing is going to change.

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