City Mayor Accepts Police Chief’s Resignation During Probe Into 264,000 Suspended Cases

(REUTERS/Mike Stone)

Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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Democratic Houston mayor John Whitmire accepted the resignation of the Texan city’s chief of police as an investigation into over 264,000 suspended cases mounted Wednesday, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

These cases that were not properly investigated include more than 4,000 cases of sexual assault, according to the AP.

An internal department computer code suspended these cases from investigation due to insufficient sworn officers, the Houston Tribune reported. The city mayor’s office posted on Twitter that Whitmire still considered chief of police Troy Finner as a friend but believed that his acceptance of the chief’s resignation was “‘in the best interest of Houstonians’.” He further alleged that the probe into the suspended cases “had become disruptive to the department.”

Mayor Whitmire, a previous Dean of the Texas Senate, was sworn into his current office on Jan. 2024, according to the mayor’s biography page. The mayor expressed confidence in the police chief’s capacity to handle the sheer number of uninvestigated cases at the time, the AP reported.

Chief Finner reportedly maintained that he learned of this problem only in Nov. 2023, the month where the issue became public knowledge. The chief further said he learned the department continued to use the code Feb. 7, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Father, Two Sons Arrested For Alleged Fatal Shooting Of Son Of Dominican Republic Lawmaker)

ABC 13 obtained a copy of a July 20, 2018 email that they reported Tuesday was addressed to him and several other senior Houston Police Department (HPD) officials allegedly highlighting the issue of the code by showing a case was marked as “Suspended-Lack of Personnel.” Following the surfacing of this email, confidence in Finner appeared to evaporate, the AP reported.

Finner insisted that he had “been truthful” and that he had “no recollection” of that email until it was recently shown to him, a Houston police press release read. Finner added that despite the email including the phrase “suspended lack of personnel,” it did not alert the police chief “to its existence as a code or how it was applied within the department.”

Whitmire said that this revelation was “the final straw” and that Finner’s resignation was made in “dialogue” with him, the Houston Tribune reported. Whitmire had previously committed to keep Finner on as police chief during his campaign for mayor but acknowledged that “tough decisions” had to be made, according to the AP. Whitmire claimed the probe into these cases as distracting the department “from its primary mission of fighting crime,” the outlet reported.