The fireworks were sparked over a disagreement between Alderman Jason Ervin and Chicago Police superintendent Garry McCarthy over whether the department is promoting minorities to high-ranking positions. Mary Ann Ahern reports. As NBC5’S Political Reporter Mary Ann Ahern reports, there hasn’t been this kind of exchange before in the Emanuel administration.
A discussion about hiring within the Chicago Police Department led to a heated exchange at the City Council Budget Committee meetings Thursday.
Tensions got high between Ald. Alderman Jason Ervin and Chicago Police superintendent Garry McCarthy at the end of the all-day budget meeting where McCarthy revealed the department was on track to spend $93 million in overtime this year, even though only $32 million was budgeted.
But when the conversation turned to minority hiring, things got chippy.
Ervin: You mean to tell me, that in the department, there are no qualified African Americans to be chiefs, or deputy superintendents in this department?"
McCarthy: You're putting words in my mouth. You're saying that I'm saying that there's nobody qualified. That's nonsense. Not even close to being true.
Both men were admonished several times for cutting each other off, and Ervin took offense to McCarthy not looking at him while he was speaking.
But it was committee chairman Ald. Carrie Austin who refused to let McCarthy have the last word.
"I'm going on to the next person. This is one day you gonna sit it down, because I'm the one running the show today," Austin told McCarthy.
McCarthy says staffing levels in the department are adequate, and told members of the committee that his department's numbers show that every category of crime -- including homicides -- is down so far in 2013.