Local News

Court Opinion Criticized Raleigh's New Police Chief

Posted August 9, 2007 3:04 p.m. EDT
Updated August 9, 2007 3:31 p.m. EDT

— A federal appeals court ruling last week in a lawsuit involving a Michigan police department was critical of Raleigh's incoming police chief.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the City of Grand Rapids' motion this week for a new hearing in the matter and criticized Harry Dolan, 49, for waiting six weeks to suspend a police officer after concluding that she was psychologically unfit to continue in her  job. He also had suspended a second female officer on the same grounds.

"Chief Dolan’s decision to wait to suspend the plaintiffs until two months after the injunction hearing raises concern about the sincerity of his belief that the plaintiffs posed a danger to themselves or others," the ruling stated. The issue had grown out of a suit several Grand rapids female officers had filed claiming gender discrimination and other issues.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said the city was aware of the lawsuit and that Dolan had disclosed it and discussed it at a public forum.

The decision, he said, is another legal step in a longstanding legal battle, and it was nothing that caused him to be concerned about Dolan's ability to serve as police chief.

Dolan acknowledged the matter last month at a public forum before he was named police chief.

"Lawsuits have been certainly difficult times, but even from that negative, watching the police department come together, rally and provide exceptional service, even while living through great adversity, has been some of the highlights of my career," he said.

Dolan, who served 24 years with the Grand Rapids Police Department, nine as chief, replaces former Raleigh police Chief Jane Perlov. He will take over Sept. 4.