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Resolve Issues On Police Chief

Bethesda officials cannot let concerns about the village’s police chief drop. They need to be resolved, one way or another, as quickly as possible.

During their meeting last week, village council members discussed acting police chief Pete Busack’s future. He has been in that position for about six months.

On July 8, council members discussed whether to make Busack the permanent police chief. They failed to do so.

Then last week, the matter came up again — and not pleasantly. Mayor Samantha Burkhead told council members she could not recommend Busack for the chief’s job “when (he) is currently under pending litigation for disrespect and hostility to a citizen …”

Burkhead added that, “The hold-up is fear — fear of retribution if I didn’t appoint him. I think that is a fear that is shared by others up here.” She said Busack had made veiled threats to her.

Little more was said about that — except for comments by Busack himself. He apologized during last week’s meeting, saying he “lost his cool” on July 8. “That is not me,” Busack added. “I should never have done that. I should keep myself in better composure with this job. That will never happen again.”

During last week’s meeting, Burkhead recommended Busack be terminated from the police department job. Three council members voted in favor of that. Three voted against the suggestion. That prompted the village solicitor to note the matter would have to be dealt with in the future.

It certainly will. Comments by Burkhead and Busack raise serious questions about the acting chief. The matter should not be allowed to simmer any longer than the date of council’s next meeting — at which it needs to be resolved.

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