Cop Drop

Chicago officer loses Arizona job over resume

The Sun-Times reported over the weekend that the Chicago Police Department's new acting head of the organized crime division "has been dropped from consideration for a top police job in Arizona because of inconsistencies on his resume."

In fact, it's a story that played out over the summer in Buckeye, Arizona, a largely white community that was on the cusp of hiring its first African American police chief.

"Buckeye's top choice for police chief could become the first minority to lead the force," the Arizona Republicreported in July. "Ernest Brown, a Chicago Police Department veteran, is the town's favored pick, Mayor Jackie Meck confirmed."

A background investigation, however, found problems in Brown's candidacy, and on July 20 the town released a statement that said "Buckeye officials are no longer considering one of the finalists for police chief because of inconsistencies in some information discovered during the ongoing background investigation."

The Arizona Republic reported on Aug. 5 that "Previously, Brown was the southwest valley town's leading choice," and that "Top staff and interview panelists remained silent about what kind of irregularities they found in Brown's record that threw him out of the race.

"'What we were told (by Brown) and what we were seeing were two different things,' said Scott Rounds, Buckeye's assistant town manager, who traveled to Chicago to visit Brown and tour his department in mid-July."

The problem for Brown was that in March he was demoted in a department-wide re-organization to lieutenant over the detective divisions for five districts, but when he applied for the Buckeye job in March, he used his old job title.

"Brown said he began applying for jobs before his reassignment and must have accidentally sent an old version of his resume to Buckeye in April," the Republic reported. "I certainly had no intention on my part of deceiving anybody," he said.

Apparently Buckeye officials weren't convinced; Chicago authorities wouldn't say whether they knew of the Buckeye imbroglio.

"Monique Bond, director of Chicago police news affairs, declined to provide Brown's employment history records, but wrote that he has had 'an exemplary career' and 'is highly regarded in the communities he has served'."

Brown told the Republic that "a $50,000 pay cut after he was moved to lieutenant caused him to lose his home to foreclosure recently."

The advertised salary for the Buckeye job was $96,448 to $142,498 a year.

Buckeye had gone so far as to send a four-man delegation to Chicago to check Brown out.

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