Boise & Garden City

As search for ombudsman continues, Boise to change office’s name

The city established Boise’s Office of the Community Ombudsman in 1999 to investigate public complaints about police officers’ conduct. The reason for changing the name is to clear up confusion about what the office does, city spokesman Mike Journee said.

Every so often, the office receives calls from people who think the ombudsman’s office deals with other issues, Journee said.

Meanwhile, the city is again working through the process of replacing its first ombudsman, Pierce Murphy, who left in July 2013 for a similar job in Seattle.

Two hiring attempts have come up empty since then.

Mayor David Bieter announced in February that he wants the ombudsman to be a part-time position, thanks in part to a sharp decline in the number of complaints the office fields.

Journee said Bieter, a panel of city staffers, City Council members and civilians have interviewed several candidates. Bieter, who will have to recommend a candidate to the council to confirm, hasn’t set a target date for a hire, Journee said.

“All I can say really is it’s moving along really well,” Journee said.