The independent news organization of Duke University

Conner delays

As six months stretch into seven, the search for Durham's next chief of police still appears to have no end in sight. City Manager Marcia Conner had said Monday she would announce her decision yesterday to either permanently appoint Interim Chief Steve Chalmers or reopen the search.

The City Council did not convene, but members waited by their phones to hear what many hoped would end the search. However, the only call they received was one informing them that Conner's decision had been delayed.

"Considering we've been waiting for eight months, it would seem she'd be able to make a decision right now," said Council member John Best.

Best expressed disappointment at the delay, but said he assumes Conner had a good reason. "It's more anxiety than anger," he said.

Council member Thomas Stith echoed this sentiment of anticipation. "We need to have some closure on this aspect as soon as possible just to give the community an idea of where we are headed," he said.

Conner attended a closed meeting with the Council Monday, after which she announced that Chalmers was back in the running. Conner had previously disqualified him for being "untruthful" about a 1982 domestic violence arrest.

Documents in a divorce case and a custody case filed in Durham County District Court showed Chalmers' wife alleged a pattern of physical and mental abuse by him during their marriage from 1978 to 1989, according to the News & Observer of Raleigh. Chalmers has denied the allegations.

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