Press Releases are provided to Yellow Scene. In an effort to keep our community informed, we are now publishing some press peleases in whole.
October 1, 2020
NAACP Boulder County Chapter:
Dear President James and colleagues,
Based upon your concerns over the hire of former Boulder Police Department Officer John Smyly in the computer support section of the sheriff‘s office, the hire was given another review. We have concluded this hire was not helpful to our equity work, and I wish to inform you of the resolution to the issue.
Our staff spoke to John Smyly yesterday concerning the controversy over his temporary position here. John is not enjoying the spotlight or controversy and understands it is necessary for him to leave. He has agreed to immediately seek other employment outside of the county government. We will try to b his position and transfer the work and have him finish the projects he has in progress on our RMS replacement so that we don’t have to start over. This was very difficult because John has not violated any policies here and has been a very productive, pleasant employee. He will leave as soon as possible, and we placed a written deadline on departure by the end of the year.
I am not normally involved in hiring decisions. When our staff interviewed the candidates for this term position, Smyly was the best qualified applicant. Some understood the past controversy in his role as a city police officer, so they brought this decision to some of our executive staff members, including myself, for discussion. We looked at this through the lens of safety and exposure. This was a temporary, non-enforcement job with no public contact or representation. We did not see any opportunity for harm. Ultimately, I approved the hire.
We failed to consider the sentiment, or “trigger” that it might cause for people of color. That’s my fault, I take responsibility. We have been engaged in race equity training and discussions and are committed to continuing those efforts and working with county staff on whatever tools might help us in those efforts. Obviously, I still have things to learn.
Sheriff Joe Pelle