SJPD officers call for removal of independent auditor

A stand off over a controversial Independent Police Auditor’s report now has the San Jose Police Officer’s Association seeking the IPA's ouster. Association members are calling on the mayor and city council to launch an investigation into what it calls “official misconduct.”

“We have to expect the IPA office to have integrity, and honesty. And with Mr. Zisser there, it does not,” said Paul Kelly, president of the SJPOA.

On Monday, Kelly handed a letter to a San Jose mayoral aid. This symbolism has substance, as the group is calling for the removal of the Independent Police Auditor.

“We wouldn’t do it if we knew we could move past it and move on, which we can’t,” said Kelly.

The stumbling block that seems to have derailed the long-standing relationship between IPA and POA came to a head in May. Aaron Zisser submitted his annual report, which used percentages from the department’s website dashboard to show disparity in how white and black suspects are treated differently in use-of-force cases. The mayor and council rejected the report, on the grounds it was misleading.

“It was essentially an oversight no my part. And I take responsibility for it. I wanted to make it right . and we’re absolutely going to be more sensitive going forward,” Zisser said in a phone interview with KTVU.

He said he could been more rigorous in his process in presenting all the data. But he has had conversations with police brass, and says his good relationship with the SJPD continues..

“We weren’t presenting this information to draw any conclusion about the issue. We were presenting it as hey here’s some information available on the dashboard, presented by SJPD. There’s a whole bunch of disclaimers we give about the limitations of the dashboard,” said Zisser.

The public mea culpa, and resubmission of the report to the city 10-days ago, comes too late for the P.O.A. The association has signatures from 500 rank-and-file officers, and the top deputy police chiefs seeking Zisser’s ouster..

“We just can’t move forward with him in that position,” said Kelly.

The city council meets Tuesday, and will consider the resubmitted IPA report, not the POA. official misconduct letter. That will have to wait until after the council’s July recess, and could be one of the first items up at its first meeting in August where 10 council members plus San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, will vote. Removing the independent police auditor would require 10 affirmative votes.