HONOLULU (KHON2) — Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi held a news conference on Friday, April 9, hours after Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard announced in a video that she was resigning from her position effective June 1.
In her speech, Ballard said she no longer has the trust and support of the Honolulu Police Commission and the new mayoral administration.
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“This along with a rampant rumor campaign has made it next to impossible for me to lead the department effectively,” she said. “So I believe it is in the best interest in the department and the community that I step aside and allow the commission to find someone who will lead the department that they see fit.”
Blangiardi does not understand that comment and said he did nothing but support her.
“I did not lose confidence in the Chief,” Blangiardi said in Friday’s news conference. “I read her announcement, and I don’t understand that comment to be honest, because I did nothing but support chief Ballard.”
Blangiardi’s office did not get prior notice from Ballard before she announced her decision to retire.
“I didn’t speak with her today,” Blangiardi said. “My last conversation with her was earlier this week prior to her receiving her review from the police commission.”
Blangiardi said, his last conversation with Ballard was earlier in the week of Monday, April 5, prior to her receiving her third annual evaluation review.
“I do believe the Commission’s evaluation was fair and accurate,” he said. “They spent a lot of time, they were conducting interviews in the field for the last six month since November.”
Blangiardi said, he would have a big say in who becomes the next leader moving forward, someone with strong communication skills who can connect with the community.
Blangiardi will now meet with the Commission to discuss the next steps.