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Originally published October 11, 2012 at 6:36 PM | Page modified October 12, 2012 at 2:04 PM

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Top candidate for Seattle police monitor withdraws

Detroit attorney Saul Green will not seek the job of overseeing Seattle Police Department reforms.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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One of the top candidates to be the independent monitor overseeing Seattle police reforms has withdrawn his application as city and federal officials work to meet a deadline in two weeks to make a selection for the position.

Saul Green, a Detroit attorney who oversaw widely hailed police reforms in Cincinnati, said he withdrew last Friday because he wanted to concentrate on his law practice.

Green said his decision had no connection to recent news stories regarding his role in 2010 as Detroit deputy mayor, when he backed the promotion to police chief of a Detroit Police Department official who had shared sexually charged text messages with a co-worker.

The chief, Ralph Godbee Jr., retired Monday amid a sex scandal surrounding his alleged relationship with another female subordinate, according to The Detroit News.

Green told The Seattle Times he stood by his decision to support Godbee's promotion in 2010 and, expressing irritation, insisted he withdrew his application because he had "no desire to be the monitor in Seattle."

Green's name has circulated for months as a leading candidate for the Seattle position in light of his success as the federally appointed monitor in Cincinnati this past decade, as well as his broad experience that included his service as a U.S. attorney in Michigan from 1994 to 2001.

The city and Justice Department have until Oct. 26 to select a jointly approved monitor and submit the name to U.S. District Judge James Robart, who will choose from lists from the two parties if they can't agree. Robart is presiding over the city's July settlement agreement with the Department of Justice requiring reforms to curb excessive force by officers and biased policing.

The monitor, working with a staff, will have the key responsibility of assuring reforms are completed and providing regular reports to Robart and the public.

On Wednesday, the city released the names of nine candidates — out of a pool of more than 20 applicants — who were asked for additional information. The Times obtained the names under a public-disclosure request and a court-approved agreement reached with the city and the Justice Department.

Among those still under serious consideration, according to a source with knowledge of the search, is Merrick Bobb, one of the nation's leading experts on police conduct who heads the Los Angeles consulting firm Police Assessment Resource Center.

Bobb authored a highly critical report of the King County Sheriff's Office presented to the Metropolitan King County Council last month. It recommended more thorough oversight of shootings by deputies and other major changes that contributed to the council's taking quick action to bolster oversight.

It is unclear who else remains a finalist, but one contender is Jeff Schlanger, the president and chief executive officer of Colorado-based KeyPoint Government Solutions, whose firm was among the nine candidates asked for more information.

A former assistant district attorney in Manhattan, Schlanger previously worked on a team associated with New York City-based consulting firm Kroll that oversaw long-running changes imposed on the Los Angeles Police Department.

Kroll Advisory Solutions also is among those who applied to serve as the Seattle monitor jointly with Alvaraz & Marsal, a global professional services firm. James Lord, a former federal prosecutor in Seattle, was identified as that group's probable monitor in a previous story in The Times, but documents obtained since then show another person was proposed for that role.

The application initially drew attention because Kroll's chairman, William Bratton, a nationally recognized law-enforcement figure, was listed as an adviser. Bratton, a former New York City police commissioner, served on the Kroll team involved in the Los Angeles reforms and then became police chief in that city in 2002 amid changes viewed as highly successful.

But that application, although on the list of nine candidates, is no longer under consideration, according to a source briefed on the search.

Other contenders include:

• Pasadena, Calif.-based OIR Group, whose team would be headed by Michael Gennaco, whose biography describes him as a onetime federal attorney who supervised more than 20 grand-jury investigations into police misconduct.

• The Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington, D.C.-based organization of chief executives of large and small police agencies in the United States that acted as a consultant in the search that led to the hiring of Seattle Police Chief John Diaz.

• Michael Bromwich, head of The Bromwich Group in Washington, D.C.

Bromwich served as independent monitor of the District of Columbia's police department from 2002 and 2008. In 2010, according to his résumé, he enacted reforms after President Obama selected him in the wake of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to head the federal agency responsible for offshore-drilling regulation.

Information from Seattle Times archives is included this story.

Steve Miletich: 206-464-3302 or smiletich@seattletimes.com

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