William Weeden, the executive director of the Metro Nashville Community Oversight Board, has resigned after just seven months on the job.
Weeden cited “extreme stress” and the position “no longer being a good fit” for him as the reasons he resigned. The Chicago-native plans on returning to the Windy City after his final day on December 2.
“Mr. Weeden’s decision to resign and end his service in such an abrupt manner is both startling and disappointing, but it will no way disrupt our process,” stated Board Chair Ashlee Davis. “The indispensable work of the COB and MNCO staff will continue to move forward because the city and communities of Nashville have that expectation and we all remain committed to this work. We have made incredible progress over the last year, and I look forward to continuing this work as we move forward.”
Going forward, Assistant Director Jill Fitcheard will be the executive director of Nashville’s community oversight board until the city finds a replacement.
During his brief time as executive director, Weeden clashed with Nashville police officers. As The Tennessee Star reported last month, these two entities failed to create a memorandum on how they would successfully work together.
Tensions between both sides increased in recent months as independent police policy investigations stalled and record requests were denied, according to Nashville Public Radio.
President of the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police James Smallwood issued a statement to The Star last month about the ongoing clash.
The only thing I can think to add, is that we informed Mr. Weeden and the board, that the FOP intended to wait until the MOU draft was complete to offer our suggestions or thoughts. They failed to mention at that time that there would not be any additional opportunities to have discussions or have questions answered by them.
It is certainly interesting that they are complaining about the police department not attending their meetings when they themselves refuse to meet with the rank-and-file representatives of the police department. It’s a two way street.
I would also note that, as I understand it, Mr. Weeden was reprimanded by unanimous vote at yesterday’s community oversight board meeting.
I keep hearing this phrase “I don’t like the tone” from board members. It’s a professional request for information. There is no tone. It’s almost as if they believe they should not be questioned by anyone.
Last year, Nashville voters passed a referendum that created the Metro Nashville Community Oversight board. The purpose of the board is to “provide an accessible, respectful, independent and effective forum for community participation in the investigation and resolution of complaints of Metropolitan Nashville Police Department misconduct.”
On Tuesday, the Tennessee Star Report reacted to Weeden’s resignation and the current feud between Nashville’s community oversight board and the city’s police officers.
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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Battleground State News. If you have any tips, email Zachery at [email protected]
Photo “William Weeden” by Law Offices of William Weeden. Background Photo “Metro Nashville Community Oversight Board Logo” by Metro Nashville Community Oversight Board.