Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced Thursday night that he accepted Boykins’ resignation in the wake of a federal investigation into the city’s Police Department.
Buttigieg tagged Hurley — a former police chief who currently works as St. Joseph County’s deputy coroner — to serve as chief until a permanent replacement is named. He will take the oath of office Friday.
The mayor indicated Boykins’ resignation stems from a federal investigation into wiretapping of Police Department phones.
“Since January, I have been aware of a federal investigation into the South Bend Police Department’s practices relating to the recording of phone calls,” Buttigieg said in the statement released Thursday night.
“While my ability to speak on this matter is limited, it was clear that practices in the department were out of compliance with federal requirements.”
As the mayor’s office was preparing the release announcing Boykins’ resignation, Buttigieg and Boykins stood a few feet away from each other at the “1 Million Hoodie March” rally for Trayvon Martin outside the Martin Luther King Center.
They passed each other when Boykins walked away with another man, but although Buttigieg smiled as the police chief passed, neither spoke to each other.
Buttigieg declined to speak about the matter, as did Boykins as he walked out of the park.
Police officer and Common Council President Derek Dieter said council members were made aware of Boykins’ resignation through the same channels the media received Thursday night from the mayor’s office.
“We will follow up more on it tomorrow,” Dieter said, declining further comment.
Council member Oliver Davis expressed disappointment over the mayor’s lack of communication with the city’s administration.
“To find out about this matter from several members of (Boykins’) district who called me this afternoon was very disheartening,” Davis said.
“Furthermore, to learn that Mayor Pete Buttigieg has known about a federal investigation taking place within the South Bend Police Department since January 2012 is truly disturbing, especially since ... (the mayor) did not inform anyone on the South Bend Common Council about the investigation.
“This shows a tremendous lack of respect and poor communication between the city’s administration and the South Bend Common Council.”
Boykins, Davis noted, “has served our city very well and a matter of this nature should been made known to the members of the South Bend Common Council.”
Now that the federal investigation has concluded, Buttigieg said he would implement a series of administrative changes in the department to meet requirements laid out by federal authorities.
“I respect Chief Boykins’ decision to resign,” the mayor said in the statement, “and am grateful for his years of dedicated service to our community.”
Boykins joined the South Bend Police Department in 1984 and rose through the ranks to be appointed the city’s first black police chief Dec. 21, 2007.