Next Boise ombudsman will have more responsibilities

The job will now involve acting as a compliance officer for federal grants.

sberg@idahostatesman.comJanuary 9, 2014 

The city of Boise has received 25 applications from candidates who want to be the next community ombudsman.

Anyone else who wants the job must submit an application by 5 p.m. Friday.

Besides investigating complaints against Boise police officers, the new ombudsman will be responsible for guiding compliance with federal grant requirements and investigating public complaints pertaining to those grants, according to the city’s job description.

The job’s salary range is $75,000 to $95,000.

Many of the grants Boise receives from the federal government require the city to appoint a compliance officer, city spokesman Adam Park said. Human resources director Shawn Miller or one of Miller’s staff has traditionally served in that role.

In addition to regular duties, the new ombudsman may occasionally help the human resources department handle workplace complaints, “but only if the HR workload was significant enough to require the additional assistance,” Park said in an email.

The decision to push more work the ombudsman’s way is a result of the office’s own success. It was created in 1999 in the wake of a rash of police shootings and complaints against officers. But the number of complaints has decreased over the last decade.

Dennis Dunne, who was former ombudsman Pierce Murphy’s senior investigator, has served as interim ombudsman since July, when Murphy took a similar job in Seattle. Dunne has overseen investigative reports on an officer-involved shooting, police use of force and an accusation that two officers cursed at a driver while stopped at a traffic light. In each instance, Dunne found no cause to discipline the officers involved.

Sven Berg: 377-6275

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