Consultant to find new Oakland police chief quits

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A consultant hired to find a new Oakland police chief has stepped aside citing that city officials were meddling in the selection process.

The San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/KiR0lM ) reports that Bob Murray resigned last week after city officials had informal conversations with potential candidates.

Murray would not say on Monday who had held the conversations or provide other details.

Sean Maher, a spokesman for Mayor Jean Quan's office, confirms that staffers in her office spoke with "a couple" of possible applicants. He says the conversations were insubstantial and happened before the application process closed on Dec. 6.

Maher says 32 people have applied for the position.

Quan announced plans this summer to hire the city's fourth permanent police chief since 2009 after Chief Howard Jordan abruptly resigned in May.

Interim Chief Sean Whent says he's interested in having the job permanently.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com